Skip to main content

Full text of "A treatise on the cause of exhausted vitality;"

See other formats

pi t.o.e 

i- t ^ 

''-' .'.'• ": 




■ I Ml III II IH Will HP Ml I 



I H-- r# 








E. P. MILLER, M.D., 





e NEW- YORK : 
John A. Gray & Green, Printers, 16 and 18 Jacob St. 


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by 

Eli P. Miller, M.D., 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern 

District of New- York. 


This little book is born of the idea that mankind are 
suffering for want of the knowledge it is designed to give. 
A medical experience, extending through several years, has 
convinced me that people of all ages and both sexes are 
suffering from abuses of the sexual function. In a ma- 
jority of instances, these abuses were begun and contin- 
ued in ignorance of the results which were to follow. 

Children inherit strong sexual desires of which they do 
not know the meaning ; and, receiving no instruction with 
regard to these desires, they either fall spontaneously into 
evil practices, or learn from impure associates habits which 
eventually prove their ruin. Young men and women, con- 
trolled by passion, rush into vices which finally destroy 
both body and soul. Married people, without a thought 
of sin, commit excesses which induce disease, destroy hap- 
piness, and entail weakness and deformity upon their 

These facts have been so frequently and so forcibly 
thrust upon me, that I have felt constrained to bring before 
the people a consideration of the sexual nature of man- 
kind; I am aware of the prejudices which exist against a 
discussion of these subjects, and of the difficulties to be 
met in attempting to bring a work like this before the pub- 
lic. Parents shrink from instructing their children with 


regard to their sexual nature ; teachers dislike to talk of 
such private matters to their pupils ; ministers fail to de- 
nounce these evils from the pulpit ; doctors are backward 
about referring to sexual vices amongst their patients ; and 
newspapers are, many of them, so fearful of offending the 
public taste, that they decline inserting in their columns 
advertisements of a work of this kind. 

But I am so impressed with the importance of a knowl- 
edge of the subjects here presented, that I earnestly hope 
this book will overcome many of the existing prejudices 
against a dissemination of such truths ; and, in order to 
accomplish this, I must look for aid in its circulation from 
all who feel that reform in this direction is needed. 

I know that the book is far from perfect ; but I could not 
wait longer for those who might write it better. I send it 
forth with the feeling that if, by means of it, one boy or 
girl, or one young man or woman, is saved from the "broad 
road that leads to death," if one father or mother is in- 
duced to live more in accordance with the laws of nature, 
or to watch and guard a single child from sexual vices, 
then my work will not have been in vain. 

E. P. M. 

New- York, Sept. 1867. 





Materials entering into Man's Composition — Wisdom and Skill of the Designer 
— The Perfectness of the Hand, Foot, Eye, and Internal Organs — The Brain 
the Masterpiece — Harmony of Organic Action necessary to Happiness — Man's 
Physical Nature made Perfect — Intellectual and Moral nobler still — Unity of 
Man's Physical and Mental — Means by which Mind is manifested — Depend- 
ence of Mental Powers upon Physical Conditions 7 



Every thing in Nature governed by Law — The Human System not an Excep- 
tion — Each part controlled by Special Laws — Henry Ward Beecher's Opinion 
of Natural Laws — Happiness Dependent upon Obedience to Law 15 



Universal Prevalence of Disease — Mortality among Mankind — Disobedience to 
Law the Cause of Physical Derangements — Mental Aberrations the Result of 
Physical Derangements — Physicians and Drugshops — Adam's Sin no Excuse 
for Physical or Moral Imperfections 18 




The Foundation of Life — Loss of Semen — Nervous Exhaustion — Parents Im- 
part to Children a Portion of their own Life-Power — Loss of Vital Force a 
Cause of Disease — Every part of the System drained of its Vitality by Sex- 
ual Abuses — Original Sin considered — How Death resulted 23 



Sexual Indulgence designed for Propagation of Species — Recognition of this 
Law by Animals — Restraint of Sexual Passion — Opinion of Drs. Dixon and 
Rosch — The Extent to which Indulgence is sometimes carried no Evidence 
in its Favor 28 



Self- Abuse the Worst Form of Sexual Abuse — When and How the Habit is* 
contracted — Opinions of Different Authors — Who are its Victims — The Hor- 
rors of this Vice depicted — Effects upon the Body — Influence upon the Mind. 34 


Signs of the Vice — The Boy who practices it contrasted with one who does 
not — Effects upon Girls and Women — Disease of the Female Organism en- 
gendered by Sexual Abuse — Loss of Stamina in the Race resulting from Sex- 
ual Abuse 43 





What Henry Ward Beecher says — Seminal Emissions, how induced — May 
occur during the Day as well as Night — Conditions resulting from Self- 
Abuse — Involuntary Action of the Sexual Organs — A Warning to those Be- 
ginning the Practice — Every part of the System exhausted by it — Extracts 
from Letters written by Young Men Guilty of this Vice 47 



Genital Form — Digestive Form — Spinal Form — Cerebral Form — Epilepsy, In- 
sanity, Spinal Irritation, and other Diseases, caused by Self- Abuse 62 



Hereditary Taints — False Ideas of Marriage — The Effect of Food and Drink — 
Care of Young Children — Servants — Playmates — Schools — Sleeping — Lewd 
Stories — Constipation — Worms — Occupations, etc 68 



A Bane to Society — Special Diseases caused by it — Draining of the Life- 
Powers — What Solomon says — Nature's Laws can not be violated with 
Impunity 73 



Marriage not a License for Sexual Indulgence — Evils arising from Marital 
Excesses — Wives and Husbands Widowed by Marital Excesses — Effects of 
Sexual Abuse much the same whether in or out of Wedlock — Children inher- 
it Strong Passions — Frequent Indulgence fatal to Love — Indulgence during 
Pregnancy robs both Mother and Child of Vitality — Sterility — Impotency — 
Abortion — Both Parents equally blamable — Effects of Abortion 79 



Instruction needed — Duty of Parents — Correct Ideas of the Sexual Nature 
necessary to guard Children and Youth from Error in this Direction — Parents 
should not hesitate to teach truth for fear of suggesting Evil Thoughts — 
Proofs that Children are kept from Evil by the Knowledge that it is Evil — 
Teacher's Duties — Schools the Hot-Bed of Sexual Vice — The Knowledge 
most needed for Success in Life — Duty of Christian Ministers — Physical Laws 
not Referred to by them — Efforts to save Souls while the Body is going to 
Ruin — Sexual Vices not even Hinted at — Sexual Excesses of Church Mem- 
bers — Beecher's Discourse to Medical Students — A similar one needed for 
Ministers — Christ's Teaching — Obedience to Sexual Law should be required 
by the Church — Physician's Duties — Instruction to Families under their 
Charge — Essays — Lectures 8; 



Stop Sinning — Who may hope for Cure without Special Advice — Will-Power 
— Blood diverted from Sexual Organs — Physical Training — Mental Training — 
Diet — What Food should be used and what avoided — Bathing — What Baths 
most Beneficial — Sleeping — What to do on retiring and during the Night — 
Electricity — In what Cases applicable and how useful — Turkish Baths — Their 
Effects — Swedish Movements — Benefits derived — Caustics — Instruments — 
Marriage not a Cure for Seminal Emissions — Religion needed — Christ's Ex- 
ample 108 

Abuses of the Sexual Function. 

chapter I. 


AN is the highest, noblest, most perfect 
work of God. He is an epitome of the 
whole created universe. The most subtle 
essences of the animal, vegetable, and mineral do- 
main are used in his formation. The atmospheres 
and gases are in his substance. The sunshine and 
the light of stars ; the riches of soil and the varying 
charms of climate ; heat and cold ; the ocean and 
the continent ; the mountains, plains, and valleys ; 
the forest and the prairie, the marsh, the lake, the 
river ; the clouds, the winds, the storm, the calm ; 
spring showers and summer dews, autumn rains and 
winter snows ; the grains, the fruits, the flowers, the 
birds, the cattle on a thousand hills — all go to make 
the air he breathes, the food he eats, the water he 
drinks, and the purity or impurity of the flesh he 

The highest wisdom and genius are displayed in 
the formation of the various organs of his body ; and 
the greatest mind could never conceive of any thing 


more perfect, or better adapted to the purposes for 
which they were designed. 

Look at his form as he stands upright before you ; 
how admirably it is arranged in all its parts ! The 
body is erect, yet the frame-work is so connected by 
joints and elastic tissues as to enable him to bend 
with ease and grace in whatever direction he may 
choose. His head, placed upon his shoulders as a 
cupola upon the structure, is so nicely adjusted as to 
be capable of being turned in almost every conceiva- 
ble direction. The arms and hands are attached to 
the body by the best means, and in the best position 
to serve in ministering to his necessities and his 
pleasures. The legs and feet are so adroitly arranged 
as to balance the whole body in the most accurate 
manner, either in standing or walking, and admit of 
the greatest ease and freedom of motion, and speed 
of locomotion. Thus much of man is visible to 
every eye ; but to those who have made the human 
form a study this is but the surface, while a glance 
beneath, even at the hand alone, can not fail to excite 
the wonder and admiration of all who observe its 
form, and the arrangement of its integument, mus- 
cles, tendons, bones, joints, nerves, arteries, and veins. 

Though small in compass and compact in struc- 
ture, its nerves and blood-vessels form such a com- 
plete net- work that the point of the finest cambric 
needle can not penetrate any part of it without pierc- 
ing some of them. Yet, minute as they are, each 
has its peculiar function, and the whole is so admi- 
rably arranged that each and every part can do its 
own especial duty without interference. 


And how varied are the uses to which the hand is 
adapted and applied ! Glowing thoughts are penned 
by it upon the author's page ; it causes the artist's 
canvas to assume the delicate tints or brilliant hues 
which nature in her varied moods is wont so lavishly 
to wreathe about her form ; by means of its vibrations 
the musical instrument is made almost a thing of 
life ; it plays, it works, it acts, it talks ; the farmer's 
toil, the housewife's task, the mechanic's skill, are all 
wrought out by the human hand ; except the tongue, 
it is the orator's chief aid in giving expression to his 
lofty strains of eloquence, or his pathetic and power- 
ful appeals ; it gives greater pathos to the pleader's 
prayer, and tells with tenfold force the tale of sor- 
row, suffering, and woe. We do not realize how 
many notes in the tune of life the hand is made to 
play. Its beauties and its uses are almost beyond 
our thought ; and he who is deprived of it sustains a 
loss that none can estimate. 

We look with admiration, pride, and almost with 
awe upon what is being done by man in every direc- 
tion. We see his skill displayed in the various arts, 
and his reason and intellect in the wonderful works 
of his hands. We boast of our ships, our steam- 
boats, and our telegraphs ; we are proud, and justly 
proud, of our bridges, our viaducts, and our Atlantic 
cable ; but where, in the whole range of arts, me- 
chanics, architecture, or engineering, can we find 
such a structure as the human foot ? How manifold 
are the functions it is fitted to perform ! Not only 
does it sustain weights, but it must carry them. Man, 
in his labors- and his toils, is obliged to walk, run, 


jump, leap, climb, etc., and upon the foot must he 
depend for the performance of these several duties. 

And not only this, but the foot must sustain the 
frame, not as a mere solid mass, but with a fostering 
though firm elasticity, must adapt itself to the action 
to be performed, so as to prevent the jarring and 
concussion that would inevitably destroy the delicate 
organs of the body, such as the brain and spinal cord. 

Look, too, at the human eye, placed as it is in the 
front and upper portion of the head, so as to com- 
mand the greatest possible range of vision ; incased 
in a bony orbit to protect its delicate structure from 
injury; so suspended that it may be turned upward 
to the starry heavens, or downward to our mother 
earth, or from side to side, spanning half the horizon 
at a single glance. Note the beautiful arrangement 
of its curtains, humors, lenses, pigments, membranes, 
nerves, and vessels ; and how accurately it delineates 
pictures of every object within its range, and conveys 
them to the brain, the great picture-gallery of the 

The eye is also the window through which the 
mind and heart of man are made visible to his bro- 
ther man ; grief and anger, joy and sorrow, pain and 
pleasure, the heart's sunshine and its shadow, are all 
depicted there ; the passions hold their orgies in this 
window, and truth and love dance hand in hand be- 
fore its curtain. Can mortal conceive of any thing 
more beautiful, more perfect than the human eye ! 

Let us consider for a moment the wisdom and skill 
displayed in the formation and arrangement of man's 
organs of digestion, circulation, respiration, and ex- 


cretion. Each and all are made of the right material, 
and of the precise form and size, and placed in the 
exact position to subserve best the purposes for which 
they were designed. The digestive apparatus forms 
a study of vast interest and importance ; the circula- 
tory is no less wonderful, while the respiratory and 
excretory, which are organs of purification, can not 
but fill with amazement all who contemplate them 

Yet, wonderful and beautiful as are all these varied 
portions of man's body, the great masterpiece of 
workmanship is the human brain, with its hundreds 
of little counterparts in the nervous system. 

The brain with its continuation, the spinal cord, is 
the great centre, while the nerves are but so many 
minute telegraphic mediums of communication, pene- 
trating the most distant and intricate portions of the 
whole body. The brain is the manufactory of thought, 
the home of the mind, and the medium through which 
we receive impressions of the material world. 

Through the brain and nervous system the power, 
intelligence, will, ingenuity, and, in short, all the at- 
tributes of the mind are made manifest ; it presides 
over, provides for, and regulates all other parts of 
the body ; even the functions of circulation, respira- 
tion, digestion, and assimilation, which seem to be 
carried on independently of the mind, receive their 
power from the brain, and are consequently dependent 
upon it. 

Each portion, too, of the brain structure has a func- 
tion of its own, which is different from that of every 
other part. It has been clearly demonstrated that in 


the frontal region lie the reason and intellect ; the 
summit is occupied by the moral faculties, while the 
base of the brain is the seat of man's affections, and 
upon its development depends his social and sexual 

The All- Wise Creator has formed every organ of the 
human system with direct reference to the accom- 
plishment of a certain object. Every bone, muscle, 
nerve, and tissue has its own peculiar duty to per- 
form, every fibre a purpose to subserve. By means 
of the brain we think, feel, and act ; the nerves take 
cognizance of external things, convey an impression 
of their character and uses to the brain, and carry 
back the commands of the will to the muscular sys- 
tem, that the behests of the mind may be obeyed ; 
the heart receives th& impure blood from all parts of 
the system, sends it to the lungs to be purified, then 
takes it back, and forces it with tremendous power 
even to the minutest parts of the body ; the veins 
and arteries are made for the express purpose of con- 
veying the blood to> and fronty the heart ; the lungs 
throw off carbon and take up oxygen ; the stomach 
and small intestines digest the food ; the eye is made 
to see, the ear to hear ; and thus the various organs 
have each their own especial use in the animal econo- 
my, and their exact function to perform ; and, as a 
result of the proper performance of all these func- 
tions, we have not only harmony, but happiness of 
mind as well as body. 

Thus, we find that man's physical being was made 
perfect ; but his intellectual, moral, and spiritual 
were created nobler, grander still ; for it is this por- 


tion of his nature that renders him so much superior 
to all other created beings ; that makes him the ruler 
of the earth on which he dwells ; that allies him to 
the angels ; that reflects so perfectly the image of God. 

It is mind that makes the man ! The human 
mind molds and fashions all material substances of 
which it has a knowledge. Mind has harnessed the 
wind for a steed to traverse the tempest-tost sea ; 
has entrapped and tamed the lightning, teaching it 
to bear tidings from continent to continent, and al- 
most from pole to pole ; it has made of steam a ser- 
vant to do its bidding both upon the waters and the 
land ; and yet, with all its achievements, with all its 
grandeur and its glory, the dependence of mind upon 
the body is so apparent, and its union with the phy- 
sical so complete, that although in the past we have 
been taught to exalt the mind at the expense of the 
body, yet the day is at hand when neither shall be 
neglected, but each receive its own proper share of 
laudation and attention. 

Prof. Youmans says ;* " From time immemorial 
man has been regarded as having a double nature ; 
mind and body have been cleft asunder and con- 
sidered as separate and independent existences : the 
mind has been ranked as the higher or spiritual na- 
ture, and the body as the lower or material nature. 
The mind was said to be pure, aspiring, immaterial ; 
the body gross, corrupt, and perishable ; all terms of 
applause have been sought to celebrate the one, while 
the vocabulary of reproach has been exhausted upon 
the other." 

* See lecture on " The Scientific Study of Human Nature." 


"But science now establishes the truth that the 
notion of man's duality is erroneous, and that the de- 
pendence of thought upon organic conditions is so 
intimate and absolute that they can no longer be 
considered except as unity ; that the bodily organism 
which has been so long neglected as of no account 
is in reality the first and fundamental thing to be 

" The mental life and the bodily life are manifesta- 
tions of the same organism ; growing together, fluc- 
tuating together, declining together ; they depend upon 
common laws which must be investigated by a com- 
mon method, and science, in unraveling the mysteries 
of the body, has thrown important light upon the 
workings of the mind." 

Science has demonstrated the fact that mind is 
manifested by means of the formation and develop- 
ment of cells in the brain ; and upon the condition 
of the blood depends the character of these cells ; 
upon the condition of the body depend the mental 
power and activity, the mental force and stamina ; 
and he who possesses a sound mind in a sound body 
may be looked upon as the noblest work of God. 

When we contemplate man as coming perfect from 
the hands of his Maker, his entire organism harmo- 
niously developed, and his whole life a thanksgiving 
and a joy, we are led to exclaim with the ancient 

" What a piece of work is man ! How noble in 
reason ! how infinite in faculties ! in form, and 
moving, how express and admirable ! in action, how 
like an angel ! in apprehension, how like a god!" 

H is j 


O one can study the anatomical structure 
and physiological functions of the hu- 
man system in all its departments, with- 
out being deeply impressed with the order and adap- 
tation that reign throughout the whole ; and no less 
deep must be the conviction that it is the work of some 
great, all-wise, and all-powerful Intelligence. Every 
part bears proof of a Designer, and shows that it was 
formed for a particular use ; every part gives evidence, 
too, that there are laws which govern its action, and 
that to preserve its integrity it must be used accord- 
ing to its design, in consonance with those laws. 

Science has demonstrated that the entire universe 
is regulated and maintained by an established system 
of laws. There are physical laws, chemical laws, or- 
ganic laws, and vital laws ; the planetary system has 
its laws ; the earth, its laws ; the mineral, vegetable, 
and animal kingdoms have each their controlling laws ; 
and man, the acme of creation, is generated and de- 
veloped in accordance with law. Each organ of man's 
body, too, is subject to a special law. The eye was 
made with direct reference to the laws of light ; the 
ear, to laws of sound ; the stomach, to laws of diges- 
tion ; and so long as these laws are recognized and 
obeyed, so long will harmony and happiness prevail ; 


but if they are violated, whether willfully or ignorant- 
ly, the penalty is sure to follow. 

Henry Ward Beecher says :* " He that breaks a 
valid law of God, whether it be enacted in nature, in 
the physical globe, in his own body, or in his own spi- 
ritual being, sins against his own soul, and the damage 
is in the man himself, whether he knows it or not." 

" Men are subject to the great material laws of the 
globe on which they dwell, and there is not a mate- 
rial law that a man can break and not sin." 

" The thought would be worth every thing to this 
world, that sin means the infraction of laws which 
God has made, of every kind!' 

" You think it is a sin to steal ; it is a sin ; and to 
break those laws on which the very potency of your 
bodily organization is founded, to break those laws on 
which your mind-powers turn, is no less a sin. All 
the laws of the globe which report themselves in your 
strength and in your economy are moral laws, and foi 
you to break them is to sin." 

The laws of nature are immutable, and as eternal 
as God himself. Man may array himself in opposi- 
tion to them, but their operations are not suspended 
on this account. If the eye is exposed to a light too 
strong, the result is an injury to the sight ; if the ear 
be subjected to loud and long-continued noise, the 
hearing is more or less impaired ; if the hand is 
brought in contact with fire, it is consumed accord- 
ing to the laws of combustion ; and so of each and 
all the laws of Nature ; they can not be changed, but 
are forever, and under all circumstances, the same. 

* See Herald of Health for February, 1867. 


He who violates a civil law may have a hope of im- 
munity from justice. He may plead ignorance of the 
law, or inability to comprehend it, and thus obtain 
mercy. But the punishments for violation of natural 
laws can never be evaded ; no act of faith pr suppli- 
cation, no amount of entreaty or persuasion, neither 
tears, nor protestations, nor promises, avail aught to 
modify or change their prescribed mode of action. 

In every human being there is a certain relation to 
natural laws, and the man who puts himself in wrong 
relation to those laws must take the penalty. But the 
penalty may be deferred, for it is even asBeechersays 
again : " Many a young man goes on sinning and sin- 
ning in his own body, and, because sentence is defer- 
red, he thinks he is not sinning ; but, by and by, the 
penalties begin to execute themselves, and then it is 
too late for him to avert the evil. Many a man finds 
out at thirty-five years of age that he is an old man ; 
that his marrow has been sucked up ; that the gene- 
rating power of his nervous system has been burned 
out or rotted out ; and he thinks he will reform, and 
means to reform, but it is too late." 

" The man that violates the laws of nature in the 
structure of his own body or mind may be perfectly 
certain that those laws will inflict their penalties on 
him both here and hereafter ;" while he who obeys 
them feels a foretaste of the joys of heaven, and 
blesses God in his body as well as in his spirit, which 
is his. 



E have seen that man came forth pure and 
j perfect from the hands of his Creator ; 
symmetrical in proportions, harmonious in 
action, his whole being was formed with such perfect 
adaptation to the accomplishment of the purposes for 
which it was designed, that all necessary and legiti- 
mate action could be productive only of pleasure. 
We have considered that to govern every department 
of this beautiful structure, and insure its health and 
happiness, immutable laws were established, which 
can not with impunity be ignored. 

Let us contrast this beauty, order, and perfection, 
with the deranged conditions in which we at present 
find the race. We may range the earth throughout 
its length and breadth, and where shall we find a 
people who are living up to that standard of perfec- 
tion which their organization seems to indicate they 
were designed to attain and enjoy ? Everywhere we 
see deformity and disease. In almost every land, 
" The pestilence walketh in darkness, and destruction 
wasteth at noonday." Our cities are studded with 
asylums and infirmaries for the sick, the lame, the 
halt, and the blind. In every household there are 
evidences of suffering and sorrow ; we can not walk 


abroad but the heart is pained at sight of the pale 
cheek, the sunken eye, the deformed body, the totter- 
ing gait, the enfeebled and exhausted men, women, 
and children of this enlightened age ; yes, enlightened 
in all things save in regard to the noblest work of 
God, mankind. 

The cities of the dead outnumber far the cities of 
the living ; emblems of mourning and sadness are 
met on every hand ; death is constantly claiming its 
victims amongst the young and the middle-aged as 
well as the old. Babes die by thousands before they 
are born, and one fifth of those born alive are lain 
away in their tiny graves before they reach the age 
of seven. 

The weaknesses, the infirmities, and the diseases 
of parents are entailed upon their children from gene- 
ration to generation ; the noble structure, so " fear- 
fully and wonderfully made," has been deranged in 
all its functions, till every one of the " thousand 
strings " of this beautiful " harp " is either broken or 
rendered so discordant that scarce a tone of sweet- 
ness can be made to vibrate from it. Not an organ 
but is abnormal in its condition, but has been perver- 
ted in its action, but occasions pain instead of plea- 
sure. Sickness, sorrow, suffering, and death are the 
rule of the race ; while good, sound health, with its 
accompaniments, joy and happiness, is the seldom 
seen exception. 

The physical ills which we meet at every turn are 
enough to make us wonder at the forbearance of the 
Creator in permitting man to live when he carries 
about with him such manifold evidence of having vio- 


lated the laws by which he should be governed. Yet, 
direful as are all the physical ills under which man 
labors, could we separate mind from body, we should 
say they are but slight, compared with the mental 
aberrations resulting from diseased conditions. 

Dr. Bucknill says : " The little cells of which the 
gray substance of the brain is composed are the 
agents of all that is called mind ; of all our sensations, 
thoughts, and desires ; and the growth and renovation 
of these cells are the most ultimate conditions of mind 
with which we are acquainted. Not a thrill of sensa- 
tion can occur, not a flashing thought or a passing 
feeling can take place, without a change in the living 
organism. Much less can diseased sensation, thought, 
or feeling occur without such changes," for " polished 
steel is not quicker dimmed by the slightest breath 
than is the brain affected by some abnormal condi- 
tions of the blood." 

And this being true, what wonder is it that so 
many phases of mental disease present themselves to 
our notice ! What wonder that our insane asylums 
are peopled with sufferers of all ages, and in every 
stage of insanity ! What wonder that the lustre of 
the brightest stars is dimmed, and that every now 
and then the world is awed with the announcement 
that a bright light has suddenly gone out, dashed into 
darkness by a sweep of its own hand ! 

None may tell the terrible sufferings of the poor 
victim ere this last step was taken ! Violations of the 
law of digestion by wrong habits of eating and drink- 
ing, and of the law of respiration by breathing im- 
pure air, or, it may be, violation of the sexual law by 


indulgence in secret vice or sexual excesses, first led 
to loss of memory, then false reasoning or reasoning 
from false premises, till, finally, the world and all 
things in it were standing in such a delusive light 
that the poor sufferer could not choose but clear 
himself from its entanglements, which he did to the 
amazement of thousands who had scarcely recognized 
the fact that he was not perfectly sound both in body 
and in mind. 

" Behold what a great fire a little spark kindleth !" 
The beginning of all these sad, woeful, heart-rending, 
and life-destroying conditions, is almost imperceptible ; 
slight deviations from perfect health receive no atten- 
tion ; slight violations of the laws governing any organ 
or function are all unheeded ; for the beneficent Cre- 
ator has so formed mankind that every tendency of 
the system is toward repair, and, unless marked viola- 
tions occur, producing palpable results, the deception 
may go on until the health is fairly undermined. 

The fact that there are fifty-three thousand physi- 
cians in this country, constantly gaining their liveli- 
hood by the ills of the human family, proves too truly 
that the physical condition of the race is not what it 
should be. The drug-shops with which our towns and 
villages abound are patronized to an extent almost in- 
credible. The animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms 
are explored for " remedies " to " cure disease ;" the 
earth and sea yield their most obnoxious elements for 
the same great end ; money is scarcely counted when 
medicine is to be obtained, and the cost of drugs is 
scarcely less than the cost of bread. And all this as 
a result of the practice of " regular " physicians, to 


say nothing of the fortunes made upon elixirs, sarsa- 
parillas, pectorals, and pills. 

There is something radically wrong somewhere ; 
man's organization indicates a different design from 
this. The exactness, the precision, and the invaria- 
bleness of scientific truths denote a natural cause for 
all things ; and a natural cause for disease must there- 
fore exist. One portion of mankind is too apt to 
think that disease and suffering is the natural and 
unavoidable condition of life ; and he who argues 
that disease may be avoided, and that suffering is the 
result of sin, is looked upon as striving to oppose 
God's " providences ;" others trace every thing back 
to the sins of our first parents, and charge them 
with entailing death upon the race, with all the phy- 
sical weaknesses which are its precursors, thus mak- 
ing man individually irresponsible for the ills to which 
he is subjected. 

But is he considered irresponsible for deviations 
from right in the moral part of his nature ? Is 
Adam's sin admitted as an excuse for the liar, the 
robber, and the murderer ? And are they permitted 
in consequence to pursue their nefarious course un- 
punished ? Not at all. And neither does the " ori- 
ginal sin" give man the privilege of violating the 
laws of his own physical being, trampling upon those 
very parts of his nature which ally him most closely 
to the Infinite. Where no law is, there is no sin. 
" Sin means the infraction of laws which God has 
made of every kind ;" so he who transgresses a law 
of his physical nature is held responsible in the sight 
of God, and the penalty is sure to be inflicted either 
upon him who sins or upon his posterity. 



VERY thinking mind must ere this have 
decided that all the derangements and dis- 
eases pertaining to mankind are but the 
natural effects of certain causes. Let us seek to 
ascertain, if possible, the origin of all these evils ; 
and, in searching for the cause of unsoundness, let us 
begin at the foundation, for perchance we there may 
find the quicksands upon which depends the tottering 
of the whole edifice. 

And what is the foundation of the human struc- 
ture ? In what does it consist ? Does it not lie in 
the sexual organs ? Is it not dependent upon the 
sexual function ? In the union of the male principle 
with that of the female consists the first springing 
forth of the germ of a new existence — the first forma- 
tion of a new being — the very foundation of life. 

From the blood the elements of a new life are 
formed ; and it has been ascertained that the material 
— called semen — which goes to generate a new being, 
is so refined, so intensified in its vitalizing power, that 
" one ounce of it is equal to forty ounces of blood in any 
other part of the body." Then, too, the nervous force 
expended is amazing ; for " in the sexual organs we 
find a union of the three great systems of nerves — the 


vegetative, or nerves of organic life ; the emotional, 
or nerves of animal life ; and the intellectual, or 
nerves of spiritual life ; for the last two sacral nerves, 
which go to supply the generative organs, have their 
ganglia within the dura mater of the spinal cord ; 
thus differing from the other spinal nerves, and re- 
sembling the nerves which originate in the brain, and 
are connected with the mind." 

Is it any wonder, then, considering this concentra- 
tion of blood and nerve, that the orgasm experienced 
in the indulgence of the sexual passion induces in 
many persons an exhaustion of every faculty of body 
and mind ? Is it possible that this orgasm should 
constantly or even frequently occur without produc- 
ing a degree of prostration that must sooner or later 
make sad inroads upon even the strongest constitu- 
tion ? 

The loss of semen is very exhausting, yet the ex- 
penditure of nerve force is quite as great a source of 
evil in the abuse of the sexual function ; for until 
puberty males have no semen to lose, and females 
have none at any age. It is, therefore, in the ner- 
vous orgasm that the greatest evil lies. When this 
is prematurely experienced, although imperfect, it 
gives a shock to the whole system ; and when often 
repeated the nervous power is completely drained 
away. "All the vitality of the system goes to sup- 
ply the immature but already exhausted organs of 
sexuality, both in body and in brain. The manufac- 
tory of the mind is robbed, and the victim loses sense 
and memory ; the digestive apparatus is robbed, and 
dyspepsia and decay follow," accompanied by the 


many nervous diseases with which we are only too 

Every child that is begotten is at the expense of a 
degree of vital force in the parent. This is demon- 
strable from the fact that the semen, or male princi- 
ple, is composed of the elements which form brain, 
nerve, muscle, bone, in short, every tissue of which 
the body is composed ; and by parting with it a 
portion of the life-principle is lost ; and a constant 
loss of this life-principle, whether for purposes of 
generation or otherwise, must inevitably drain the 
system of a vast amount of life-force, and render it 
an easy prey to the innumerable diseases to which 
humanity is subject. 

The loss of vital power by means of this drain ren- 
ders man less able to resist the effects of change of 
climate, and of malarial poisons and miasms. It im- 
poverishes the blood, and induces consumption, dys- 
pepsia, nervous diseases, and mental derangements, 
with the long train of sequences which follow in 
their wake. 

Says Dr. J. Hughes Bennett : " There can be no 
doubt that the deposit or exudation of tubercle in the 
tissues — which in the lungs constitutes phthisis or 
consumption— is the result of defective nutrition con- 
sequent on defective vitality, either inherited or ac- 
quired." And in no way can vitality be so surely 
rendered defective as by the loss of this principle, 
which contains the very essence of life, together with 
the loss of nerve power which accompanies it. 

And this loss affects not only the loser, but all who 
come after him ; for the weakened and diluted semen 


can never impart life-force to a new being which it 
does not itself possess ; from healthy blood is formed 
healthy tissue, full of force and power ; healthy semen, 
that will impart a strong and vigorous life to off- 
spring ; while from impoverished and impure blood are 
supplied the elements of disease ; and the child begot- 
ten from such blood must of necessity be born with 
a constitution wanting in vitality, weakened in those 
very parts upon whose strength and vigor depends 
the vital stamina ; and he either dies young, or falls 
early into the degrading habits he has inherited, and 
becomes a victim of the vices of his progenitors. 

Nearly all the diseases to which the human family 
is liable may be traced to want of vital force, result- 
ing from abuses of the sexual function. Let those 
who refer all human derangements to the " original 
sin" consider that, according to Bible history, this 
"sin" consisted in "eating of the tree of the knowledge 
of good and evil :" it was disobeying a law of God ; it 
was doing what he had commanded them not to do ; 
and death was to be the penalty. Now, there is no 
law which God has made, the obedience to which is 
productive of greater good than obedience to the sexual 
law ; and none, the disobedience to which would entail 
upon the race such certain knowledge of evil in all its 
forms as disobedience to the sexual law ! Neither is 
there any law of man's organization, nor any law of 
God, the violation of which is more certain to bring 
death as a penalty, than violation of the sexual law ! 
Although death may not take place on " the day 
thou eatest thereof," yet the expenditure of vital 
force, and the exhaustion consequent upon it, begin 


on that " day," and, if continued, will surely lead to 
death in the end. 

Man's sexual organism and instincts, when unper- 
verted, are among the most complete and harmonious 
of his nature ; and when rightly used, in accordance 
with the laws which govern their functions, they be- 
come a source of the highest enjoyment and happi- 
ness. The appetites and passions, when under the 
control of reason and conscience, when subject to the 
sway of a high and noble moral nature, become a 
fountain of force and an engine of power to the pos- 
sessor, and lead to the grandest achievements within 
the scope of human ability and will ; but when per- 
verted and abused, when misused and misapplied, 
when the laws which God has made to govern them 
are violated, then, alas ! they become fruitful of the 
deepest misery and wretchedness, and are the source 
of constant sorrow and a living death. 



ACH organ was made for a special use; 
each function, established for a specific 
purpose. No one will attempt to deny- 
that the specific purpose of the sexual function is the 
propagation of the species. For this the Creator de- 
signed it, and the nearer mankind confine themselves 
to its use in accordance with this design, the nearer 
do they come to obedience to the sexual law, and the 
purer and holier do they learn to consider the entire 
sexual apparatus, and the office it was designed to 

I know that many who read this work will cry 
" Nonsense !" at these ideas ; but the law exists, and it 
matters not who recognizes its truth ! it will daily 
slay its hundreds and thousands regardless of the 
opinions of any ; and those who choose to gratify 
their passions in disregard to the law must inevitably 
bear the curses that follow. 

Throughout the animal kingdom we find a recogni- 
tion of this law ; the female never permits the ap- 
proach of the male except when in a condition to 
conceive ; and, when impregnated, not again until her 
young has been developed, and she is free from the 


care of it ; even amongst those animals which choose 
a mate, there is no indulgence except for the pur- 
pose of procreation. Animals possess no higher 
faculties than those of mere sensual enjoyment, and 
yet they never indulge the sexual passion except for 
the purpose of perpetuating their species ; while man 
is endowed with a mind and soul, for the cultivation 
and development of which, his life-force and nerve- 
power should be expended ; but, instead of using his 
vitality thus, he is constantly frittering it away, and 
abusing this highest of all created powers, the power 
to beget a being in the image of his God. 

Then, too, man's desires toward the object of his 
affections should flow forth in tender tokens of love 
and esteem, instead of being degraded to the mere 
gratification of lustful passion ; he should look upon 
her as a creature too pure and precious for aught that 
is lustful to approach, instead of making her a thing 
to cater to his use, thus either degrading her to his , 
own low level, or sending her, heart-broken and life- 
weary, to a premature grave. 

It is through the elevation of woman alone that 
mankind can ever hope to attain his true position, " a 
little lower than the angels ;" and not all the openings 
of every opportunity for education, of every branch 
of labor, and every profession, not all the command 
of property, nor all the rights of suffrage, can serve to 
bring her to her highest estate, so long as this foul 
degradation hangs like an incubus upon every branch 
of her tree of life. Woman must by education make 
herself familiar with the laws of her own nature, and 
with her God-given rights respecting that nature ; 


and, by demanding and receiving those rights, the 
race will at length become purified and ennobled. 

Men frequently tell me that, if they restrain their 
passions, they " get nervous and excitable, the head 
feels bad," and they " can not accomplish any thing ;" 
but they are " better immediately after having gratified 
this desire." Some medical men cater to this idea by 
teaching that " in restraint there is danger of insanity 
and other diseased conditions." Do they think there 
is any more danger from restraint in married than in 
single life ? for surely the passions are no less strong 
before marriage than afterward. 

I have no doubt that to many persons indulgence 
brings' relief ; and it is the same with the drunkard, 
the opium-eater, and the tobacco-user ; they feel un- 
comfortable whenever the accustomed indulgence is 
withheld, and are sometimes even insane in conse- 
quence ; but this does not prove at all that they would 
not be infinitely better and happier when the habit 
# should be entirely broken off, and the system restored 
to its normal condition. 

A frequent drain upon the blood and nervous forces 
of any part causes a determination of blood to that 
part, and, if the drain ceases, the blood accumulates in 
the system, and until it can be so arranged and dis- 
tributed that the surplus is used in the formation of 
brain, muscle, etc., it must necessarily create more or 
less disturbance. But if self-denial be rigidly adhered 
to, and the right rigidly followed, the result would 
be the ennobling of the whole man, such as can never 
come from any amount of indulgence. 

Although there are evidences that the semen in 


man is constantly being secreted — and it is 'argued 
by many that on this account it must of necessity 
pass away — yet there are proofs quite as strong that, 
if not uselessly expended, it will be reabsorbed, and 
go to supply material for the growth and development 
of brain and nerve, and in this way contribute essen- 
tially to the improvement of man's mental, moral, and 
spiritual nature. 

There are a few who recognize the fact that the sex- 
ual passions were bestowed upon mankind for the pur- 
pose of securing the continued existence of the race, 
and not for the mere pleasure accompanying its grat- 

Dr. Dixon says, in his work on sexual disease : 
" We deplore the universal ignorance of that great 
truth pointed out by analogy and every light from 
the ample page of nature, that the intercourse of the 
sexes could only have been designed for the production 
of offspring^ 

Dr. Rosch, in his work on Nervous Diseases of 
Women, says : "If it were possible to bring home si- 
multaneously to the minds of mankind this undeniable 
truth that the object of coition should only be pro- 
creation and propagation, and that abuse of it causes 
indescribable misery, disturbs the forming man in the 
enjoyment of his most sacred right, the right to be, 
and to be healthy ; that through its abuse sacred 
duties are violated — the duty of preserving the moth- 
ers health for the sake of the child ; that thereby 
man ruins himself, when it is his duty to be a father 
and protector to his helpless offspring ; if, I say, man- 
kind could be convinced of this truth, we should have 


made an advance which would outweigh the wisdom 
of ages." " Man loses by coition his best vital bloody 
that which sustains his own existence, and is indis- 
pensable to his own body." 

It is actually astounding the extent to which some 
men go in regard to sexual indulgence. One man 
told me that he had often indulged seven times during 
twenty-four hours, and that he could not see that it 
injured him ; but in a year from that time he died of 
apoplexy, induced by his excessive indulgence. An- 
other had indulged thirteen times ; and cases are on 
record of still greater excesses. 

The fact that some men can thus indulge, and not 
seem to be injured by it, is no argument against the 
law of continence ; it simply proves that such men 
possess physical powers sufficiently strong to enable 
them to bear up in spite of this draft upon the system ; 
and that these powers, had they been spent usefully 
and normally, would have tended to make them the 
most powerful men of the age, and probably prolonged 
their life for many years. 

Some persons can use alcoholic stimulants, tobacco, 
opium, arsenic, and other poisons, for years with little 
or no apparent injury ; yet this is no argument in 
favor of their use. It simply proves that such persons 
possess by nature strong constitutions, and that they 
have vitality sufficient to resist the deleterious effects 
of these agents. 

Again, I say, the more nearly we confine sexual 
indulgence to the generation and development of 
offspring, the nearer do we fulfill the sexual law of 
our being ; the nearer do we satisfy the analogy of 


nature ; the nearer do we come to being true Chris- 
tians ; for he who is truly a follower of the great Re- 
deemer will study to know and obey all the laws of 
his being, the physical as well as the moral and spirit- 
ual ; and, knowing and obeying, he will become wiser, 
healthier, and happier, and transmit blessings instead 
of curses to his posterity. 


T is apparent that upon the integrity of the 
sexual organs depend the health and hap- 
piness, the manliness and nobility, of the 
individual and the race ; and that weakness of these 
organs, caused by abuses of the sexual function, 
begets a large proportion of the sufferings of man- 
kind. Let us, then, consider in what the abuses of 
the sexual function consist. 

These abuses may be classed under three heads : 
ist, Self-abuse; 2d, Promiscuous sexual indulgence ; 
3d, Matrimonial excesses. 

SELF-ABUSE, masturbation, onanism, and self- 
pollution are terms meaning one and the same thing. 
These terms are applied to the practice of irritating 
or exciting the genital organs, either with the hand, 
or by any means other than natural sexual inter- 
course, for the purpose of producing sexual pleasure. 

Self-abuse is, probably, the most flagrant violation 
of the sexual law ; the grossest abuse of the sexual 
function ; and it is a practice fraught with the most 
disastrous consequences to the health, happiness, and 
even life of the race. It is an evil more damning 
thanany other to which mankind is subject ! Language 
supplies no words sufficiently strong to express the 
horrors which result from it! And surely, if the evil 


one, in tempting our first parents, had foreseen that 
this practice would have been the result of the pas- 
sions he aroused, he must have been more than satis- 
fied with his ignoble work. 

Self-abuse is practiced in almost every country, 
and by persons of all ages and both sexes. Many 
children are born with this propensity, and the habit 
is commenced in infancy, or in early childhood, 
by handling the genital organs ; the friction and 
irritation giving rise to a peculiar kind of excite- 
ment which they are unable to resist. The habit 
formed at this early age is usually kept up till 
after puberty, if the system does not earlier suc- 
cumb to its ill effects. The little, puny, sickly, 
dwarfed, and diminutive men -and -women -looking 
children that we sometimes see are many of them 
examples of this habit. 

Others who have escaped the vice at so early an 
age are often initiated into the practice of self-pollu- 
tion at the age of eight or ten by their playmates, 
their school-fellows, or by hired servants ; and all this 
without a thought of evil on the part of the little mas- 
turbators. . 

They would, of course, be ashamed to have their 
parents or grown-up friends know of the habit, because, 
instead of being rightly taught the uses of the sexual 
organs, and that all things which God has made are 
pure, and their normal use holy,, they are brought up 
with the idea that these organs are ignoble ; that 
every thing pertaining to them is degrading ; and the 
mystery which envelops the entire sexual apparatus, 
in consequence of the deceiving answers of parents 


and others to their innocent questions, often leads to 
an investigation, the result of which is this horror of 
horrors, self- abuse. But of this we shall speak more 
fully in the chapter upon prevention of this vice. 

Those who have neither inherited the vice nor 
learned it from others often commence the habit of 
self-abuse about the age of puberty, when the devel- 
opment of the sexual organs and the establishment 
of the sexual function produce a peculiar uneasiness 
of the parts, to allay which, this habit is at first almost 
unconsciously fallen into. 

Of course, the excitement and irritation, instead of 
being allayed, are by this means increased, and the 
momentary pleasure experienced induces a repetition 
of the act, till by and by the habit becomes fully 
established. This goes on voluntarily for from three 
to ten years, till those who practice it learn from 
some source that this habit must, sooner or later, 
lead them to misery, and perhaps destruction ; but 
by this time the organs have become so weakened, 
and the system so impoverished, that, although the 
habit may be abandoned, in nine cases out of ten the 
loss will be continued in the form of involuntary noc- 
turnal, and perhaps diurnal emissions. 

It is probable that medical men alone can realize 
the extent to which this vice is practiced in all civil- 
ized communities. 

Dr. Jackson has stated in a published work that 
" not one young man in a thousand escapes this vile 

Said one of the professors of Bellevue College to his 
medical class of 1864: "There is hardly a student 


among you who has not suffered more or less from 
this vile practice, and several of your number are now 
under my treatment for diseases arising from this 

Mr. O. S. Fowler says : " I have known boys not 
yet four years old both practice self-abuse and in- 
dulge with the opposite sex ; and have known hun- 
dreds ruinedhy it before they entered their teens." " I 
have been consulted in cases almost without number 
by those on the brink of ruin who sought relief from 
the consequences of this vice. I know it by its infal- 
lible signs, and go where I will, in the busy street, in 
the lecture-room, in the family, they throng me like 
leaves in autumn." 

Dr. Woodward says : " I have never conversed with 
a lad twelve years of age who did not know all about 
the practice, and understand the language used to 
describe it." 

William C. Woodbridge says : " This solitary but 
fatal vice is spreading desolation throughout our 
schools and families, unnoticed and unknown." 

E. M. R. Wells, a teacher in Boston, says : " Thou- 
sands of pure-minded and amiable boys, and young 
men, are undermining their physical constitutions, 
and prospectively corrupting their souls, by a pleasur- 
able, and to many of them innocent, gratification." 

Dr. Alcott says : " There is not a town in New- 
England whose bills of mortality from year to year 
are not greatly increased by this fearful and wide- 
wasting scourge." 

Dr. Snow, of Boston, says : " Self-pollution is un- 
doubtedly one of the most common causes of ill 


health that can be found among the young men of 
this country. I am satisfied the practice is almost 
universal. Boys commence it at an early age ; and 
the habit once formed, like that of intemperance, be- 
comes almost unconquerable. In boarding-schools 
and colleges it obtains almost without exception." 
%- The preceding are but a few of the many statements 
I might quote concerning the prevalence of this per- 
nicious habit ; and my own practice as a physician 
fully corroborates their truth. 

Law students and doctors, mechanics, merchants, 
and ministers, men of every craft, persuasion, and 
profession, are suffering from diseases which originate 
almost solely in self-abuse. The evils of this habit 
can never be fully delineated ; they can never be 
enumerated, for their " name is legion." 

When a primary law of the human system is vio- 
lated, the most disastrous consequences must follow. 
There is no law of the animal economy that is vio- 
lated with so great risk to life and happiness as the 
sexual law ; no function the abuse of which is followed 
by such deleterious results as the sexual function. 

The evils which result from self-abuse do not come 
upon the victim all at once ; they creep in so slowly, 
so unconsciously, that they are often scarcely per- 
ceived until he is upon the verge of ruin. Multitudes 
of unpleasant feelings arise which are attributed to a 
variety of causes, but they are seldom traced to their 
true source. 

Truly, if there is a wretched being upon earth, it is 
the person who has habitually practiced self-abuse, 
even for a few years. It brings disaster and ruin 


upon every part of the system ; it drains away the 
life-power, the vitality, the proper elements of health 
and strength, and destroys the ability to grow and 
develop, and increase in beauty and vigor ; it takes 
away the materials that are needed to produce a 
noble, high-toned, healthy, and happy human being ; 
it crushes out the image of God, and stamps in its 
place that of the destroyer ; it withdraws such an 
amount of life-force from the blood that every organ 
and tissue of the body is left so enfeebled and debili- 
tated as to become an easy prey to disease. Self- 
abuse opens the door for consumption, dyspepsia, 
nervous debility, apoplexy, epilepsy, paralysis, in- 
sanity, and almost every disease from which humanity 

It weakens and deranges the stomach, the liver, 
the kidneys, the bowels, the muscles, the bones, the 
nerves, the brain, and all the various organs of the 
body. It destroys the appetite so that there is little or 
no true enjoyment in eating or drinking. Sometimes 
the victim loathes food, at others he is not satisfied 
even after eating large quantities. I have seen per- 
sons in this condition eat nearly all the time, and yet 
crave more. I have known a patient eat five full 
meals before dinner-time, and then, because more 
food was denied him, he went to a barrel of offal and 
ate therefrom. The constant drain upon the system 
produces an unsatisfied but indescribable longing for 
something which neither food nor drink will supply. 

The inordinate craving for spirituous liquors and 
tobacco, which is to-day so almost universal, is due, 
in a great measure, to the lack of vital force in the 


system, resulting from sexual abuses. The defective 
organism longs for something to supply its need, and 
almost naturally the wine-cup and the cigar are 
sought ; these drown, for a time at least, the sense 
of lack, but only to render it more intense in the fu- 
ture ; and then the potation is renewed, and thus 
each vice helps on the other, till the path is surely 
entered which leads to irretrievable ruin. 

Stimulants and narcotics fail most signally to satis- 
fy the terrible craving ; for self-abuse enkindles a 
flame which can not be extinguished ! It opens the 
flood-gates of the passions, and ingulfs all that is 
pure and true ! It makes a hell where Christ says 
" the kingdom of heaven is !" Ask him whose life- 
force has been exhausted in this direction, and he 
will tell you that his torments could not be exceeded 
by the tortures of hell ! he will tell you that his 
thoughts are a consuming fire ! his hopes and aspira- 
tions blasted as by the lightning's shock ! his mind 
shattered and vapid, his whole life a constant burden, 
and his every duty an irksome task ! He will tell 
you that his waking hours are filled with anguish, and 
his sleep disturbed by cursed and depraving dreams. 
Self-abuse is a sure road to the grave, which is often 
longed for as a haven of rest from the uncontrollable 
and never-ending sufferings of its victim. 

This picture, full of horrors as it is, is not over- 
drawn ; in truth " the half hath not been told ;" nor 
would volumes contain all that might be said, all that 
should be said, upon this terrible and revolting evil. 
Truly, " there is no more degrading bondage than the 
bondage of one's own lusts." 


We can not separate mind from body in the results 
of this soul-destroying vice, yet we would speak more 
particularly than we have yet done of its 


The dependence of mind upon organic conditions, 
upon cell-development of the brain — as stated in a 
previous chapter — is such that the effects of self-abuse 
are quite as apparent upon the mind as upon the 
body ; and derangements here are often the first inti- 
mation received by friends that something is wrong 
in the beloved one. 

The sufferer from this vice becomes listless, inat- 
tentive, indifferent ; there is an inability to concen- 
trate the mind, or apply it with any degree of vigor ; 
want of interest in friends ; loss of self-control ; fail- 
ure of memory, and difficulty of conducting conver- 
sation ; the reasoning is disconnected, and oftentimes 
the mental powers entirely fail ; the victim becomes 
diffident, bashful, and ashamed, and seldom looks 
people in the face ; his love of books is lost, history 
becomes a blank, the glowing pages of romance charm 
no more, the poet's spell hath lost its power, music's 
witchery is dead, the beauties of art are passed un- 
heeded by, the loveliest landscape is but an arid 
desert, and nature's most sublime endeavors fail to 
arouse the soul of him who has long been contami- 
nated by this loathsome vice. 

When man has once surrendered his conscience, 
his reason, and his will, to the control of lust, he is 
like a ship at sea without compass or rudder ; he is 
at the mercy of the tempest-tost waves, in constant 


danger of being ingulfed, and, except by some almost 
miraculous intervention, he must assuredly be lost. 
Self-abuse is the 

" Vile worm that gnaws 
The root of all his happiness terrene, the gall 
Of all his sweets, the thorn of every rose 
Of earthly bloom, cloud of his noonday sky, 
Frost of his spring, sigh of his loudest laugh, 
Dark spot on every form of loveliness, 
Rank smell amidst his rarest spiceries, 
Harsh dissonance of all his harmony, 
Reserve of every promise, and the if 
Of all to-morrows !" 



HE habit of self-abuse is practiced amongst 
girls as well as boys. Previous to the age of 
puberty the effects are very similar in both 
sexes, momentary excitement, followed by depression 
of spirits, and irritability, induced by the exhaustion 
of the nervous system. 

After having indulged in this habit for a time, the 
child loses its bright and happy look ; it becomes pale 
with a greenish tint, the eyes are sunken, and sur- 
rounded by dark rings ; the vermilion of the lips is 
faded, the limbs are attenuated, the muscles soft and 
flabby, and both in form and feature the child has the 
appearance of being old and worn out. 

Gradually, so gradually that the parents do not 
notice it, the mind becomes dull, the power of com- 
prehension is diminished, the child sits listless, seem- 
ingly absorbed in thought, and is startled whenever 
suddenly addressed ; all its motions are slow and 
heavy ; it seeks solitude, that its vicious propensities 
may be indulged ; it is obstinate, peevish, and irri- 
table ; shuns the plays it formerly loved, and becomes 
morose and taciturn. And these conditions may con- 
tinue to the end of life, even though the habit had 
long been abandoned. 


And thus sadly but surely does the worm at the 
bud sap the young life ere it is conscious of its own 
existence. All the efforts of sorrowing friends are 
insufficient to restrain the overwhelming tide of evil 
which is the sure, inheritance of those who practice 
this terrible vice. 

Dr. Acton, in his excellent work on the sexual 
organs, in noting the outward signs of self-abuse in 
the boy who is guilty of this sin, describes "his 
frame weak and stunted, the muscles undeveloped, 
the eye sunken and heavy, the complexion sallow and 
pasty, the face often covered with pimples of acne, 
the hands cramped and cold, and the skin moist. The 
boy shuns the society of others, creeps about alone, 
and joins with repugnance the amusements of his 
school-fellows ; he looks no one in the face, and be- 
comes careless in dress and manners, and uncleanly 
in person ; his intellect is often of the lowest class, and, 
if his evil habits are persisted in, he may end in be- 
coming a driveling idiot or a peevish valetudinarian." 

Every boy and girl who is practicing self-abuse is 
tending toward just the conditions above described ; 
and if the habit is not abandoned at once, it will surely 
lead to misery, ruin, and death : " Every indulgence 
of the sexual desire by children who have not attained 
their growth, is an unmitigated evil ; an illicit pleasure, 
to be bitterly repented of in after years." 

How different is the picture presented by the boy 
who has kept his sexual function unimpaired. His 
body is firm, vigorous, and elastic ; his countenance 
rosy and healthy ; his complexion bright and clear ; 
his manners frank and candid ; his spirits buoyant ; his 


memory quick and ready ; every function of his body 
is properly performed ; he has that firmness of will 
and purpose which give him a happy self-control ; he 
has no cause for shame ; and, as he feels his stature 
increase and intellect expand, his whole life is a joy, 
and his heart a fount of thanksgiving to the great 
Creator that he is permitted to exist. 


The object of masturbation is the same in girls 
as boys, namely, sexual excitement ; but the conse- 
quences of the vice are somewhat different in the two 
sexes after the age of puberty. 

Women are not weakened by the loss of the sperm- 
atic fluid, but by the excessive excitation of the nervous 
system. Nervous prostration is, therefore, the first 
effect of this sin in females. In hospitals and lunatic 
asylums there are more women than men suffering 
from the effects of this terrible scourge. This is 
probably owing to the fact that the stronger consti- 
tution, the more active employments, and the less 
delicate nervous organization of men, serve to ward 
off the ill effects of the vice, so that they do not in 
such large numbers yield to the nervous and mental 
derangements consequent upon it. 

These derangements, slight in the beginning, soon 
lead to derangement of the digestive function ; spinal 
irritation follows,* and also spinal curvature ; spas- 
modic symptoms are developed, and chorea, epilepsy, 

* I have had numbers of young women under my care for spinal 
irritation brought on by self- abuse. 


catalepsy, and convulsions are frequently the result. 
The charms of maidenhood are lost ; the appearance 
of face and form, of mind and manners, is similar to 
that described as belonging to boys ; and the changes 
are perhaps even more apparent in young women 
than in men, for their indoor and comparatively sed- 
entary life, their habits, mode of dress, etc., are such 
as to hasten the evil day rather than retard it. 

Females, although they do not lose semen, induce 
by this habit a discharge from the vagina which 
proves a terrible drain upon the system ; this dis- 
charge, called " leucorrhea," or " whites," is often the 
beginning of the most dreadful and fatal diseases ; it 
is the precursor of congestion, inflammation, ulcera- 
tion, tumors, and cancers of the womb ; it is very 
frequently induced by other means aside from self- 
abuse, for it follows in the train of all sexual abuses, 
and is often present as the result of inherited weak- 
nesses ; it is exceedingly debilitating, and, sad as it 
is, it is nevertheless true, that our American women 
as a class are almost universally afflicted with this 
exhausting loss. 

The best blood of woman as well as man goes to 
the generative organs for the purpose of forming the 
new being ; and, if it is lost by this constant drain 
from a million women, who can estimate how much 
lower we stand in consequence of this, both as re- 
gards physical and mental conditions, than we might 
have done had the life-forces of our progenitors been 
preserved intact ? 



OW truthfully has Mr. Beecher spoken 
when he says :* " Young men come into 
life not knowing the meaning of their 
passions ; without knowing the laws or the drift of 
their appetites. Many times through ignorance they 
fall into habits that drain their very life-blood and 
undermine their whole constitution. And when they 
come to years of discretion, so as to know what is 
wise and what is unwise in the care of themselves, 
the work is done, they are damned, and they can not 
be restored." 

No " habit " so effectually " drains the life-blood 
and undermines the constitution " as does self-abuse ; 
and, after this habit has been practiced for a time, 
the sexual organs become so weakened and so easily 
excited that the " drain" takes place in the form of 
involuntary seminal emissions. The life-principle is 
lost by means over which the loser has no control, 
and which, if not overcome, will finally seal his doom. 
These emissions commence in the night, and are 
generally preceded or accompanied by a lascivious 
dream, induced, no doubt, by an excessive flow of 

* See Herald of Health for July, 1867. 


blood or nervous influence to the sexual organs ; for, 
upon whatever part of the body the thoughts are 
placed, there the flow of blood is increased ; and the 
thoughts of the masturbator are so constantly centred 
upon the sexual organs, to the exclusion of all other 
ideas, that the flow of blood to those parts is im- 
mense. His waking thoughts are full of unholiness, 
and his dreanns, of licentiousness and lust, and he 
awakes to find that he has had or is having a free 
emission of semen. 

The emission is at first accompanied by pleasurable 
sensations, and the poor, deluded victim imagines 
that he has an added source of enjoyment ; for his 
ideas have become so degraded that this mere unnat- 
ural animal pleasure is his highest sense of enjoy- 
ment. Previous to this he has not, probably, realized 
the exhausting effects of the habit, and, of course, is 
not always alarmed at the involuntary action of his or- 
gans. He may still continue during the day the volun- 
tary practice, but it is not long before he finds that 
these involuntary losses become more and more fre- 
quent, with less and less sensation of pleasure ; and 
as the pleasure subsides, an exceedingly disagreeable 
sensation takes its place, which is very exhausting 
both to mind and body. 

At first strong erections accompany these dis- 
charges, which do not occur oftener than once a 
week, perhaps, or once in two weeks ; but after a 
time the erections subside, and the emission takes 
place without either dreams, erections, or sensations 
of pleasure ; and they gradually become more and more 
frequent until they may occur every night, and in 



several young men whom I have had under my charge 
they would occur two or three times in one night. 

The genital organs often become so morbidly sen- 
sitive that emissions occur upon the least excitement 
in the daytime. I have had patients who could not 
look upon a woman without violating the seventh 
commandment, for he " committed adultery with her 
already in his heart." I have had those who would 
have emissions while at stool ; the bowels are gener- 
ally constipated, and the effort necessary to evacuate 
their contents often produces an emission. Semen 
often passes with the urine, or just as urination 
ceases. Some patients can not rock hard in a rock- 
ing-chair, or ride on horseback, without producing 
emissions ; and some there are in whom the chafing 
of the clothing is sufficient to produce a similar effect. 

If every boy in the land, who is just beginning the 
practice of self abuse, could be made fully to under- 
stand that this habit would soon produce such a weak- 
ness and irritation of the genital organs that they 
would act ijivoluntarily upon the least excitement, or 
even when they were asleep, and they could not stop ot 
control this by any effort of the will, and that these in- 
voluntary discharges would finally exhaust their vital- 
ity, stunt their growth, destroy digestion so that the 
constant natural waste of the system could not be re- 
paired, root out their manhood, render them incapable 
of taking pleasure in any thing in this life, and, in 
short, crush them physically, mentally, morally, and 
spiritually, both for time and for eternity, it seems to 
me that it would be an argument so forcible that they 
would at once abandon the vicious practice ; and, in- 


stead of one child contaminating a whole street, or 
school \ or village, as is often the case, they would become 
pure themselves, and warn others of the fatal dangers 
arising from this vile and sinful habit. 

Some physicians have stated that seminal emis- 
sions are " natural, even to healthy men," and that it 
is an indication of " strength and vigor of the sexual 
organs ;" and thus they attempt to solace their suffer- 
ing patients by such logic. A more fatal error than 
this could not be disseminated. 

It is true that very many men, full-grown and mar- 
ried, who appear healthy and vigorous, do occasionally 
have seminal emissions involuntarily. But it is be- 
cause these organs have either been abused in early 
life, or sexual intercourse has been indulged in to ex- 
cess, till the parts have been so excited that they take 
dh involuntary action, which is always an" indication 
of a diseased condition of any organ over which we 
usually have control. 

A man, healthy in every respect, who has lived a 
temperate life, and never abused his sexual nature, 
would no more have involuntary seminal emissions 
than the animals do. And, consequently, this condi- 
tion tells too truly a tale of the vices of the subject. 

There are very many men in every walk in life 
who are afflicted with this evil ; yet, as they are seen 
about their daily duties, no one, unless accustomed 
to observe these things, would suspect that such con- 
ditions existed. 

Some men who appear strong and vigorous have 
suffered indescribable agonies from this source. They 
are too proud to let their friends know of it ; they 


will not even consult their family physician, and they 
live and suffer on without complaint ; but their lives 
are rendered miserable by this incubus hanging upon 
them. Many a man of independent fortune would 
gladly give up all his wealth to be rid of this terrible 

I am often consulted by this class of sufferers, and 
almost invariably find that the evil is grounded either 
upon self-abuse or sexual excesses. 

Perhaps I can not better substantiate my state- 
ments than by giving extracts from a few of the nu- 
merous letters I am constantly receiving from all 
parts of the country, written by the victims of this 

A. B. writes : " I am the subject of that vile habit, 
self-abuse. Commenced when but fourteen years of 
age. Continued it till eighteen, when I saw that it 
was hurting me and left it off ; but I had practiced it 
so long that involuntary emissions set in, and I have 
had them ever since. Am now twenty ; have been 
well all but this, but am now beginning to go. I 
have severe palpitation of the heart, am very nervous, 
and my sexual organs have not grown any, but have 
wasted almost entirely away. Can you cure me? 
Do tell me that you can by return of mail." 

Another who had " constant emissions " writes : 
* I am exceedingly nervous, with trembling of the 
hands. I have a constant fear of death, which the 
least pain increases ; am very much afraid of thunder 
and lightning ; and at times feel so miserable that I 
care not whether I live or die. O dear doctor ! fot 
the love of God, do what you can for me ! I forgot 


to say that I have periodical symptoms of fainting, 
especially when sitting in church or lying in bed." 

Another says : " Dear doctor, after a lapse of sever- 
al months, I am before you again for advice. Your 
advice how to take the swelling and soreness out of 
my testicles acted like a charm ! I now write to give 
you a full statement of my case. Should have done 
it before, but hoped to recover sufficiently to be 
able to come to you and have the advantage of your 
skill, and the means of carrying out your advice. I 
do hope you will now tell me how I can treat myself 
till I can patch up enough to come to your Cure. 

" I am told I have disease of the prostate gland ; 
have great difficulty in urinating, continual discharge 
of yellowish matter or semen, burning at the anus, 
and a blubbering and uneasy sensation between the 
anus and testicles ; but I suffer most from nervous- 
ness ; have such a ringing and blowing in my head, 
particularly the back part of it, that I can not walk 
without staggering. Have at times a twitching and 
jerking over my whole body. My heart palpitates in 
a manner that is frightful to me. 

" I presume you suspect the cause of all this. I 
think it is the result of self-pollution commenced at 
about twelve or thirteen years of age, and kept up 
till seventeen when I left it off at intervals, but did 
not quit it entirely until about twenty-five ; and from 
that time I have had seminal discharges sometimes 
before and sometimes after urinating ; sometimes 
once or twice a week, sometimes every day or two, 
and frequently several times a day. These are occa- 
sionally attended with a considerably painful sensa- 


tion. This morning, before urinating, I passed sever- 
al drops of blood mixed with semen, and, after it, a 
considerable discharge of semen. Am thirty-four 
years of age, weigh one hundred and sixty-four 
pounds, have flesh enough, and a good appetite. 

" Now, doctor, do tell me what I shall do to put 
myself in a condition to come to you. 

" Truly yours, Address" C. D. 

E. F. says : " I am troubled with spermatorrhea of 
seven years' standing. Am unable to attend to busi- 
ness ; left lung has been in very bad state for three 
years, so that I have raised blood several times. 
Now, I want your candid opinion whether I can treat 
myself at home under your advice, or whether it 
would be necessary to come to you ; or is my case a 
desperate one, past all cure ?" 

G. H. says : " I am much troubled with nervous 
debility as the result of self-abuse when I was young. 
Am now over forty years of age. I wrote you about 
two or three years ago when I was almost gone. I 
followed your advice and have been a great deal 
better ; still I have a great many bad symptoms ; 
have passed through all the symptoms of nervous 
debility, and diseases of the sexual organs which arise 
from self-abuse. My great trouble now is, want of 
power in the sexual organs and nervous dyspepsia. 
Have a voracious appetite, and am constantly over- 
eating, so that I get entirely out of heart. I often 
break down my stomach and bring on a bad spell, 
during which I am almost entirely impotent ; feel as 
though I were all wilted away to a kind of flabby 
skin and flesh. Very weak in the limbs," etc. etc. 


" Now, please tell me, do you think you could do any 
thing for me either at your Cure, or by sending me 
a prescription ? If I come, you could at least examine 
my case, and perhaps give me some encouragement, 
for at times I am almost in despair. Please answer 
immediately, and tell me what you think best for me 
to do." 

I. J. says : " I am unmarried, twenty-four years 
old. When thirteen or fourteen, I learned from evil 
companions the habit of self-abuse, but, finding that 
it was evil, I left it off at eighteen, but suffered from 
involuntary seminal emissions from the age of about 
seventeen ; have suffered from convulsive movements 
of the arms, mostly the left one, and sometimes of 
other parts of the body, so that I would fall down, 
and once, after shaking violently, I fell senseless to 
the floor. At first I used to be troubled only in the 
morning, and when excited or confused, but have 
been much annoyed during the past winter. Have 
taken drugs, but with no benefit ; have always been 
troubled with heartburn and spitting acid from the 

K. L. tells of a " painful sense of bashfulness and 
timidity in presence of company on being spoken to, 
and especially at table. This terrible diffidence comes 
upon me like a spell, and makes me stammer. My 
head seems splitting, my face turns red, my heart 
palpitates, and I am no longer, for the moment, my- 
self. Pray, what is the cause of this, and what the 
remedy ? . . . . 

" What is the cause of nocturnal dreams, and what 
will cure them ?" 


This young man's diffidence prevented his telling 
even me that he had involuntary emissions, but the 
fact is self-evident. 

A mothers aching heart appeals for hope for her 
"dearly beloved and only child, a son of nineteen 
years ; a frail, finely organized, sensitive boy ; is scrof- 
ulous, has had typhoid fever and congestion of brain, 
swellings of neck, pain between the shoulders, and 
pain or nervous distress in the ankles and calf of 
legs, almost excruciating. At the place where the 
pain is felt between the shoulders two of the bones 
are standing out some, and one is depressed ; his 
nights are sleepless ; much distress in the head, front 
and back ; his urine contains a mucus all the time, 
which the doctor says is scrofula, but it is much 
more apparent after a nightly emission, for I must 
pert the direful words that for about three years he 
has had these. He inherited a weakness, we think 
— a sad transmission from a father — and working, 
lifting, etc., as he has been obliged to do, induced the 
emissions. The terrible exhaustion, noises in head, 
and pains, come from the emissions ; his nervous 
system is involved, but not his mind 7" 

Then comes much more of the poor mothers heart- 
wailings, and she says : 

" He was ignorant of their nature, and, being an only 
child, quiet and secluded, away from any male rela- 
tive, he thought it was something that would wear off; 
but, O my heart ! had I known of it, or known half I 
now do of its nature and results, it should long ago 
have been attended to. He has always had much 
heat and scalding about the penis, even from a babe. 


Tell me, I pray, what I best do for my beloved one t 
Please do interest yourself as though your own dear 
flesh and blood were thus, and tell me can you aid 
him f' 

M. N. says : " O doctor ! I come to you as a last 
resort ! I have read all the books I can get, hoping 
to find something that would help me to get rid of the 
disease I am suffering from, without telling any one 
about it. I have done every thing that could be 
done ; I have spent many a dollar, but of no avail. 
If you can give me no relief, I may as well give up 
and wait patiently till death shall relieve me of my 

" I have had a disease ever since I can remember. 
I firmly believe that the disease was in me when I was 
bom. I am now nineteen years old, have discharges 
every three or four nights, and always wake up soon 
after and feel faint and very weak. I have very fre- 
quent erections both night and day. It seems as 
though I wanted something to hold my testicles up ; 
I feel very weak in the back, with a dull aching of 
the head nearly all the time. I can not walk straight, 
but kind of wiggle from one side to the other, and 
my sexual organs feel dull and heavy. 

" Now, doctor, I have spoken very plain to you, 
for I feel that I must have something done to relieve 
me, and, if you can help me, just tell me so, and I will 
send you the money before you tell me what to do." 

A theological student writes : " I am twenty-three 

years old. Member of senior class in seminary ; 

have been troubled six or seven years with nocturnal 
emissions, the result of self-pollution in early life. 


Both my testicles drop down very low, and have the 
appearance of a red skin bag, covered with large 
veins, with two round stones at the bottom. In the 
region of the testicles I perspire profusely, and the 
perspiration has a very bad odor ; this has troubled 
and shamed me many years." After giving many 
other symptoms, he says : " I never feel well ; but I 
do not know whether to refer it to these conditions, 
or to my stomach, which for four years has been very 
troublesome, often refusing to retain food. 

" Am troubled with depression of spirits, for which 
I have no cause whatsoever. Am suspicious and 
jealous without reason ; am subject to hot flushes in 
the face. Lascivious thoughts often insinuate them- 
selves into my mind. I have never read corrupting 
books, and the nature of my study is of the highest 
and purest character. It puzzles me to know wheth- 
er impure fancies enter my mind first and give rise 
to desires that end in nocturnal emissions, or whether 
it is the yearning of the diseased parts that induces 
lustful thoughts. My penis is sometimes alarmingly 
small, and the outer skin shriveled ; my memory is 
not as good as formerly; is this the result of my 
disease ? I have consulted physicians and devoured 
their potions, but am not in the least benefited by 
them. I do hope I may get relief at your hands. 

"Address — ." 

Another who has successfully passed through his 
studies for the ministry finds himself " utterly pros- 
trated by the exertion of writing and delivering a 
sermon. Commenced self-abuse at seventeen, not 
knowing the terrible consequences with which I am 


now too familiar ; continued it a year and a half 
almost daily, until, having read upon the subject, I 
left it off; but the genital organs were so weakened 
that seminal emissions commenced almost imme- 
diately, and from that time to this, about nine years, 
I have suffered from this i living death/ I thought 
perhaps marriage would be a benefit, and so married, 
but have never been able to perform proper sexual 
intercourse, and at present I should think I am nearly 
impotent, if not quite. I must be cured if it is pos- 
sible, for at present life is hardly worth living for. 
If I "had known any thing about your Institution, I 
should have come to you before this. Please write 
soon, and address ." 

O. P. says : " I, through ignorance, have sinned, 
and now I suffer the consequences. There is a ques- 
tion I am asking myself daily, How and when shall I 
be well ? O God ! how glad would I be could I once 
more be freed from this tormenting, soul-destroying, 
and wicked disease, ' seminal emissions !' I have re- 
pented, but there is no forgiveness. At the age of 
fifteen I commenced that disgraceful habit, self-abuse, 
and at twenty this complaint manifested itself. Since 
that time I have been fighting with it. Am now 
twenty-six years old. My life will be a lottery unless 
I become entirely cured ; I am single ; a farmer by 
trade ; at home with my parents, and I work accord- 
ing to my strength Now, please, let me 

ask you, as an honest boy, what to do ?" 

One in the dark waters wails thus : " Suppose you 
were struggling for life in mid-ocean with a vessel 
sailing in sight, having plenty of room to accommo-* 


date you, and plenty of expert swimmers to come to 
your rescue, what would you do under the circum- 
stances ? Would you not exert all your strength to 
gain the floating refuge, and cry for assistance with 
all the intensity of agony and horror of feeling in- 
spired by your condition ? Just with such feelings 
do I send out my soul to you in this letter. I am 
perishing, miserably perishing in body and soul, and 
you are at the helm of that great and noble ship which 
I wish to board, and must board, or sink beneath the 
w r aves of temporal, and, I fear, eternal ruin. I beg 
you to listen to a brief sketch of the cause of my un- 
paralleled distress ! I was reared on a farm till 
eighteen years of age, then took chafge of a school ; # 
at twenty-one began to read medicine. After little 
more than a year I took sick of nephritis ; spine be- 
came affected, sore throat, and extreme nervousness. 
More than a year passed before I could dress or un- 
dress, rise up or lie down, without assistance. Took 
monstrous quantities of monstrous drugs, which ren- 
dered me doubly monstrous in body and in mind. 
Since that period I have been a wretched invalid ; 
the drugs on which my system was long dependent 
produced a clamor for stimulants which I have grati- 
fied ever since in the form of highly-seasoned food. 
Never was a drunkard or opium-eater more shackled 
by Satan than I am by gluttony ! I am always hun- 
gry, always eating, always repenting, always mocking 
God with false promises, sinking deeper and deeper 
into the gloom of despair and utter irresolution, and 
gathering in upon my soul the elements of consum- 
mate, eternal woe. The remembrance of what I once 


was, what I hoped, and aimed, and strove to be, and 
what I now am, and the shoreless, fathomless woe 
that awaits me unless my physical conditions can be 
changed ; the anticipation of this, and the remem- 
brance of that, scorches my soul as with hell-fire 
every day of my life." 

And thus the letter goes on, and, after describing 
his condition, he proceeds to say : " I know that I am 
lost, and that forever, if not soon put under the influ- 
ence of redemptive measures. If you can and will 
receive me under your care, and enable me, by your 
example, your encouragement, and your skill, to regain 
such health as to render me capable of sustaining 
myself, / will work for you as long as I live ! O 
Doctor ! in an agony of soul I implore you to commis- 
erate my case, else I can do nothing but lie down 
on the brink of helpless, hopeless ruin ! .... I 
have read several water-cure books, and am as fully 
persuaded of the correctness of the Hygienic theory 
and practice as I am of the redemption of man 
through Christ. If I was well, I would spend, and be 
spent, to impress the great truths you preach upon 
the minds and consciences of the people. I am called 
a ' fool/ a * cynic/ an ' opposer of the arrangements 
which God has made for the removal of disease/ sim- 
ply because I refuse to take drugs ! Oh ! had I known 
there was a better way in the beginning, I would not 
to-day be the slave of a degrading vice, destitute 
of moral energy, a poor, blasted, self-abhorred, self- 
abused, God-forsaken wretch ! O Doctor ! for the sake 
of Him who sacrificed his own life to save the lost and 
helpless, let me become the recipient of your care 
and skill !" 


These letters need no comment. You who have 
read this book thus far will appreciate them. And 
when I tell you that these tales are but a sample of 
what I am almost daily learning, both by letter and 
in my private office, you will not wonder that I felt 
the necessity of putting before the public a warning 
word concerning this dreadful evil. 



HE effects of self-abuse, as manifested upon 
its subjects, seem to arrange themselves 
into four classes, each partaking, in a mea- 
sure, of the symptoms of others. In the first class 
the genital organs are most affected ; in the second, 
the digestive apparatus ; in the third, the spinal 
cord ; in the fourth, the brain. 

genital form. 

In this form, some or all of the following symp- 
toms will be exhibited : An uneasy, disagreeable sen- 
sation in the genital organs ; pain in the testicles ; 
spermatic cord elongated, allowing the testicles to 
hang much lower than natural ; the scrotum is weak 
and flabby, and its veins enlarged ; shrinking and 
withering of the penis and scrotum, and perhaps 
extreme sensitiveness to touch ; erections and dis- 
charges produce little or no pleasure or sensation ; 
emissions are both nocturnal and diurnal. Such cases 
usually become entirely impotent, for they either so 
completely lose all sexual power as to become inca- 
pable of having erections, or, if erections take place, 
the weakness is so great that an emission occurs be- 
fore sexual intercourse can be accomplished. 


Life is bereft of all its charms, and such persons 
not only lose all interest in the higher sources of en- 
joyment, but the sexual instincts are entirely de- 
stroyed, and the poor sufferer bears about with him a 
worse than living death. 


Those in whom the digestive apparatus is the part 
most deranged will exhibit great disturbance in the 
action of the bowels ; severe constipation is generally 
present, though the opposite condition may obtain, 
and there is sometimes an alternation of constipation 
and diarrhea. There may also be derangements of 
the bladder, incontinence of urine, and diseases of 
the kidneys, such as diabetes and Bright' s disease. 
The appetite becomes morbid ; there is acidity of the 
stomach, derangements of the liver, heartburn, palpi- 
tation of the heart, indigestion in its worst forms, 
decayed teeth, gray hair, baldness, catarrh, sallow 
countenance, sunken eyes, haggard look, despond- 
ency, melancholy, and hypochondria. The system 
feels the want of sustenance, but is never satisfied. 
The victim, although he may be eating enormously, 
gradually becomes emaciated, and the friends won- 
der what can be the cause of all this trouble. If 
he has no cough, the doctor satisfies the world by 
saying he has " consumption of the bowels, or maras- 
mus," which is only too true ; but most often the 
lungs become affected, and the poor, self-abused, 
self-despised sufferer fills a consumptive's grave. 


In the spinal form, there is excessive irritation and 


excitability of the spinal cord ; rheumatic pains 
through the hips and lower limbs ; weakness and 
often numbness of the legs ; a sense of heat in the 
lower part of the spine, sometimes accompanied with 
severe pain and inability to move ; paralysis of the 
lower extremities, spasms, and epileptic fits. 

I have had several cases of epilepsy which I could 
trace directly to this vice. Some of these were from 
the first families in the country, whose parents never 
surmised the cause of the terrible calamity till I dis- 
closed it to them. 

One young man was brought to me in whom epi- 
lepsy was developed while away at school. His pa- 
rents and teachers supposed it was induced by over- 
taxing the mind with study. Suspecting the cause 
to be self-abuse, I interrogated him, but he was un- 
willing to admit it ; still believing my opinions to be 
correct, I placed a close watch over him, and he was 
soon caught in the practice. The habit had acquired 
such control that he could not voluntarily restrain 
himself ; although he improved while under my care, 
yet after he left me he continued the habit until he 
finally died in an insane asylum. 

Dr. Davis, in his recent work on surgery, says : 
"Masturbation affects the spinal cord, occasionally 
increasing common sensation until it becomes pain- 
ful. It also impairs the function of the nerves of 
motion. We have seen the lower limbs badly dis- 
torted as a consequence of this habit in children. 
Spinal irritation in girls and women is, in a majority 
of cases, due to self-abuse. ,, 



Those persons in whom the brain and nervous 
system predominate over the muscular and digestive, 
will usually manifest signs of mental disturbance ; 
the thoughts continually revert to the sexual organs 
and things pertaining to them ; lascivious images 
and morbid imaginations constantly haunt the mind. 
It may be diverted for a short time to other things, 
but it soon falls back into its accustomed channel, 
and becomes listless and powerless as before. 

The victim loses the ability to fix the thoughts or 
to concentrate the mind, and has but little power of 
self-control in any direction ; there is dullness of the 
eye, with no expression of life or vivacity ; the vision 
becomes dim and indistinct ; the hearing dull, and all 
the senses are blunted in their action ; the voice loses 
its manly tones, and becomes feeble, rough, broken, 
or squeaking ; the countenance presents either a 
bloated, coarse, and harsh expression, or it may be- 
come thin, angular, and expressionless ; there is roar- 
ing in the ears, with dullness and a disagreeable sen- 
sation in the upper and back portions of the head. 

As the difficulty progresses, and the victim awakens 
to a sense of his crime, he becomes morbid and mo- 
rose, dwelling constantly upon his ruined condition. 
Conscience goads him to despair, and, with the con- 
stant drain kept up by the seminal losses, he grows 
weaker in body and mind, and falls an easy prey to 
temptation in other directions ; he is almost sure to 
be led into intemperance, and next comes some viola- 
tion of civil laws, perhaps a crime the commission of 
which he has no controlling power to resist, and so 


he goes on till he ends either in idiocy, insanity, sui- 
cide, or the gallows.* 

The reports of all insane asylums show that these 
institutions are filled with victims of this unparalleled 
evil. Of many a young man it might be said as a 
friend says to me : " A neighbor of ours, a young man 
of promising intellect, became insane, and was placed 
in the Brattleboro Asylum. After a lengthened stay 
he was so much recovered as to be taken home ; but, 
beginning to relapse into his former condition, he 
finally told his mother that she must tie his hands to 
the bed-posts at night, for that was the way they did 
at the asylum." What must have been the feelings 
of that mother, who had never before suspected the 
cause of his insanity ! " She immediately informed 
her husband, and their desire to save others led him 
to speak to several boys upon the subject, and he 
found that there was not a young boy in the imme- 
diate neighborhood who did not know and practice the 

Many a young man is compelled to leave school or 
college, and renounce his plan of obtaining a liberal 
education, and his friends sympathize and say, " What 
a pity !" " He has studied too hard !" They may well 
say, " What a pity !" but it is not " because he has 
studied too hard P It is because his vital stamina, 
his brain, and nerve-power are all exhausted by seminal 
losses ! And there is many a student of whom state- 
ments similar to the following might be written : " A 

* We have personal knowledge that a man recently hung for mur- 
der in Philadelphia, was subject to epileptic fits, brought on by self- 


young man studying for the ministry boarded with a 
friend of mine, and not a morning passed but his 
night-shirt was found saturated with seminal dis- 
charges. No one dared say any thing to him about 
it, and he was soon obliged to give up his studies, 
went into a decline, and died." 

Let no one fear to speak with trumpet-tongue when- 
ever and wherever they see signs of this sad condition ; 
for it may not yet be too late to save some from the 
fearful end they are fast approaching. 

This same evil is the cause of a large majority of 
the suicides of the age. The brain and nervous sys- 
tem become so deranged in their action that the love 
of life is lost, and the embarrassments of business or 
the trials of domestic life — which trials arise, in nine- 
ty-nine cases out of a hundred, from abuses of the 
sexual function — afford sufficient excuse for the vio- 
lent completion of the act of self-destruction, com- 
menced years before. 




HE principal influence which leads to this 
frequently uncontrollable and almost uni- 
versal abuse of the sexual function may 
often be traced out in the history of parents. 

The father was, perhaps, born with strong sexual 
passions which have never been controlled, and the 
mother may have inherited similar conditions. They 
have married without any appreciation of what true 
marriage is, and too often solely, or principally, for 
the gratification of the animal passions ; for lust, and 
not for love ! The child is begotten in mere passion ! 
The father transmits his propensities to indulgence, 
along with the excitement and irritation of the sexual 
organs arising from those propensities ; and not only 
this, but the sexual passion is indulged during preg- 
nancy, which causes the mother to transmit doubly 
of the direful ill to the offspring within her womb, 
while at the same time the nervous force expended 
detracts just so much from the rights of the child to 
inherit a strong, well-balanced, and healthy organiza- 

Every orgasm expends of the mother's vitality a 


portion that should go to nourish and develop her 
babe. Very much of the weakness and lassitude ex- 
perienced during pregnancy is due to the exhaustion 
consequent upon the sexual embrace, and the forming 
child must suffer from its effects ; for the mother can 
not impart what she does not herself possess, health 
and strength, with elasticity of mind and earnestness 
of purpose. 

Children are born with passions of which they 
neither know the meaning, nor that they should be 
controlled, and children's children take up the curse 
and bear it on till they are powerless to beget, 
bring forth, or rear ! and then, when it is all too late, 
they look around and wonder whence the strange 
fatality. " The iniquities of the parents shall be visit- 
ed upon the children unto the third and fourth gener- 
ation." No decree of the All-Wise was ever more 
fully verified than this ; and in no respect does it 
work surer ruin than in regard to sexual abuse. 

The manner in which children are reared and edu- 
cated has also much to do in developing an irritability 
of the sexual organs, and is a predisposing cause of 
self-abuse ; the food and drink, habits of cleanliness — 
or its opposite — dress, associations, etc., all have their 
influence upon the child, and tend either to develop 
or overcome the inherited tendencies of the sexual 

Feeding children upon pork, gravies, eggs, pastry 
made of lard, salt meats, with mustard and pepper, 
rich pies and cakes, spices, cloves, and other excit- 
ants ; candies and sweetmeats, vinegar, pickles, tea 
and coffee, and every thing of this description, eaten 


at all hours of day and late at night, tend to fire the 
blood, derange the functions of the system, excite the 
nerves, and bring on a precocious development of the 
sexual passion. 

The skin, too, with its millions of little sewers, by 
which God intended the purification of the system to 
be carried on, must be kept clean, or the impurities 
are dammed back, and the internal organs become 
deranged in consequence ; and, wherever a predisposi- 
tion to excitability of the sexual organs exists, those 
organs must suffer and become more irritable still, 
from habits of uncleanliness. Weakness of the sexual 
organs is often induced and increased by the inatten- 
tion of mothers and nurses with regard to changing 
the clothing of infants ; they are allowed to go wet 
and soiled, thus irritating and chafing the tender 
parts, until this becomes a strong excitant to self- 

Sleeping on feather-beds and feather-pillows, in 
close, unventilated rooms, is another cause of weak- 
ness, and, therefore, aids in inducing this vile practice. 
Children are often initiated into the habit of self- 
abuse by sleeping with libidinous servants ; and many 
a man and woman might say as a patient writes tome : 
" I curse the time when I slept with a servant of im- 
pure mind, who led me to habits of vice from which 
I have suffered ever since." Little babes acquire the 
habit of masturbation from nursery-maids, who fre- 
quently play with the genital organs to keep the child 

Confining children in-doors ; compelling them to 
sit on hard benches, with their toes scarcely reaching 


the floor, in ill-ventilated school-rooms ; low, vulgar 
stories upon subjects relating to the sexual function, 
which many young men and boys, yes, and old men 
too ! are so fond of relating to excite the imagination 
and arouse the curiosity of all who listen to them ; 
giving children false impressions as to how they were 
born — and this is as often done by parents as by 
others — and of the nature and use of the sexual 
function ; reading low novels and obscene stories ; 
looking at obscene pictures — all tend to excite the 
imagination, and arouse and pervert the sexual in- 

Among the more immediate exciting causes are : 
constipation ; worms in the intestines, especially as- 
carides, or pinworms in the rectum ; an accumulation 
of filth and sebaceous matter around the glans penis ; 
retention of urine beyond a proper time ; eating late 
suppers ; using alcoholic stimulants, tobacco, etc.; sed- 
entary occupations, and certain employments which 
require such motion of the limbs as to cause friction 
of the thighs upon each other, such as working a 
lathe, treadmill, sewing-machine, or playing musical 
instruments that require this action — all these mo- 
tions cause a determination of blood to those parts, 
which will inevitably occasion more or less nervous 
excitement of the sexual organs. Handling of the 
genital organs has also a tendency to cause a flow 
of blood in that direction, as does keeping the 
thoughts upon subjects of a sexual character. 

Talking to children about "sweethearts" and 
" lovers " is a fruitful cause of premature excitement 
of the sexual system, and often leads to self-abuse, 


as well as to promiscuous sexual indulgence. I am 
often horror-stricken at the lightness and levity with 
which these seeds of damnation are sown in the 
minds of children. Parents and others who sow such 
seed may thank themselves for the fruit thereof. 


HE evils arising from promiscuous sexual 
indulgence are far less ruinous mentally, 
and, being less universal, are probably less 
destructive physically, than those arising from self- 
abuse. Yet, as a result of promiscuous indulgence, 
society groans to-day beneath a burden of physical 
diseases, of mental depravity, and of moral corrup- 
tion that is crushing and cursing the race. 

Aside from the private, infectious diseases from 
which persons of both sexes are suffering, diseases 
arising from venereal poisons, which contaminate the 
blood, rot the flesh, corrode the bones, and literally 
eat up alive their victim — aside from these, I say, 
there is an innumerable host of difficulties resulting 
from the great draft upon the vital forces of those 
who indulge in this way, which is sapping the enjoy- 
ments and rooting out the pleasures from every thing 
that makes life desirable. 

Men full of passion argue that nature has given 
them sexual desires thus strong, and, therefore, it must 
have been intended that they should be gratified ; 
and that it is right and lawful that the gratification 
should be obtained whenever and wherever it may be 


found ; but after they have contracted loathsome dis- 
eases, and the entire physical being is exhausted and 
ruined, they come to a different conclusion, and find 
that it is absolutely necessary to practice self-control. 
After the penalties for the violation of sexual law- 
have been inflicted, they are ready to consider the 
nature of the law, and to admit that their strong 
sexual feelings are the result of perverted sexuality, 
either inherited, or developed by bad habits in early 

" There is a way which seemeth right unto a man ; 
but the end thereof are the ways of death." 

As well may the dyspeptic plead that his morbid 
appetite should be gratified, or the drunkard that the 
flame within him should be fed with more fire, as 
the sensualist that his passions should be permitted 
to have sway. 

The world was once destroyed on account of its 
licentiousness, and has been continually cursed with 
all sorts of loathsome diseases, both of a special and 
general character. Yet the lesson of obedience to 
God's laws is still unlearned. Men do not yet know 
that their derangements, their diseases, their suffer- 
ings, their miseries, are penalties which follow the 
violation of the fixed and eternal laws God has estab- 
lished for the government of man's existence, and the 
maintenance of his happiness upon earth. They have 
not yet learned what Solomon so graphically deline- 
ates, that 

" The lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, 
And her mouth is sweeter than oil :" 


"^But her end is bitter as wormwood, 
c Sharp as a two-edged sword. 
6 Her feet go down to death; 
i Her steps take hold on hell" 

They have not obeyed his admonition : 

" Come not nigh the door of her house, 
' Lest thou give thine honor unto others. 
6 Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth, 
' And thou mourn at last 
1 When thy flesh and thy body are consumed^ 

And also : 

" Keep thee from the evil woman, 

* From the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 
1 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart ; 

' Neither let her take thee with her eyelids. 

i For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought 

to a piece of bread ; 
1 And the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. 
' Can a man take fire in his bosom and not be burned ? 
' Can one go upon hot coals and his feet not be burned ? 
' So he that goeth unto his neighbor's wife. 
1 Whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh 

understanding : 
' He that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. 
6 A foolish woman is clamorous : 
' She sitteth at the door of her house, 
' To call passengers 
i Who go right on their ways : 
' Whoso is simple let him turn in hither ; 

* And as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith 

to him, 

* Stolen waters are sweet, 

1 And bread eaten in secret is pleasant. 

6 But he knoweth not that the dead are there, 

1 And that her guests are in the depths of hell" 



The " Wise Man " still further says : 

Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister ; 
And call understanding thy kinswoman ; 
That they may keep thee from the strange woman, 
From the stranger which flattereth with her words. 
For at the window of my house 
I looked through my casement, 
And beheld among the simple ones, 
I discerned among the youths, 
A young man void of understanding, 
Passing through the street near her corner ; 
And he went the way to her house, 
In the twilight, in the evening, 
In the black and dark night : 
And behold there met him a woman 
With the attire of an harlot ; 
So she caught him and kissed him, 
And with an impudent face said unto him, 
I have peace offerings with me ; 
I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, 
With carved works, with fine linen of Egypt, 
I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cin- 
Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning : 
Let us solace ourselves with loves. 
With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, 
With the flattering of her lips she forced him. 
He goeth after her straightway 
As an ox goeth to the slaughter, 
Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks ; 
Till a dart strike through his liver; 
As a bird hasteth to the snare, 
And knoweth not that it is for his life. 
Hearken unto me, therefore, O ye children ! 
And attend to the words of my mouth. 
Let not thine heart decline to her ways, 
Go not astray in her paths. 


1 For she hath cast down many wounded : 

* Yea, many strong men have been slain by her. 

i Her house is the way to hell, 

1 Going down to the chambers of death" 

Among the evils arising from promiscuous sexual 
indulgence, we find exhausted vitality, shortened life, 
and liability to every form of disease in general, be- 
sides the endless train of special diseases which are 
the accompaniments of such indulgences. Among 
these latter are the poisons of gonorrhea and syphi- 
lis. I have seen persons whose genital organs were 
entirely destroyed by venereal poisons ; I have seen 
the eyes eaten out, the nose rotted away, and the 
skull decayed so as to expose the brain to the size 
of a man's hand ; I have seen corroding ulcers, 
large as a dinner-plate, eating the flesh in differ- 
ent parts, and also those of smaller size about the 
generative organs, groins, nose, throat, legs, arms, 
and, in short, all parts of the body. I have seen 
such disgusting sores upon the face as would almost 
make you sick to look upon. 

Let all those who have a propensity to indulge in 
promiscuous sexual intercourse visit the hospitals in 
our large cities, and see for themselves the poor vic- 
tims of these degrading vices ; and the contemplation 
of its fruits must surely convince them that they can 
not with impunity indulge in the promiscuous gratifi- 
cation of the sexual passion. They can not fail to 
see that nature, as well as the Bible, condemns licen- 
tiousness, so that even disbelievers in the latter are 
most sacredly bound, by nature's immutable laws, to 
live in continence with regard to sexual things. 


Beware, O ye thoughtless and passionate young 
men and women, beware how you commit this sin ! 
for, even though you stand not in fear of God or man, 
even though you respect not purity and chastity, con- 
sider, at least, your own danger, and refrain from in- 
ducing this terrible curse ! for, when once the system 
becomes contaminated with certain forms of venereal 
poison, it is literally impossible ever to completely 
eradicate it. It may, for a time, be suppressed by 
counteracting influences ; but, when the victim im- 
agines himself free from its accursed evils, it breaks 
out in some form, perhaps more aggravated than 
ever, to blast his hopes and make his life more bitter 
than before. 

And the evil is not alone to the author of the 
crime, but is handed down from generation to gener- 
ation, destroying the vital stamina, and blasting the 
happiness of all upon whom it is entailed. Beware, 
then, lest your children and your children's children 
fling back the fiery venom in your face, and with 
curses loud and deep denounce you as the author of 
their miseries, their crimes, their death ! 



LARGE majority of mankind seem to 
think that the marriage ceremony is a full 
license for sexual indulgence ; and that, 
in the eyes of the civil law, in the opinion of socie- 
ty, and in view of moral obligations, this rite be- 
stows the privilege of gratifying the sexual desires to 
the fullest extent. They even go so far as to plead 
that Christianity sanctions this, and thousands of 
professing Christians die yearly from diseases induced 
solely by the practice which this belief engenders. 

The multitude of evils growing out of such ideas, 
the tales of sorrow, suffering, and woe which wives 
and mothers could unfold, and which children, with 
their dwarfed, deformed, and diseased bodies, and 
weakened, shattered minds, so sadly testify to ; the 
extent to which vitality has been impaired, diseases 
of various forms begotten, and life prematurely cut 
short, from sexual indulgences in married life, can 
never be fully known, save to Him who knoweth all 
things, and knowing, either sanctions or condemns. 

Dr. Acton says : " The exhaustion of nerve-power, 
the draining of the best life-blood by seminal losses, 


the influence upon the constitution, life, and health, 
is much the same whether the indulgence occurs in 
or out of wedlock, whether produced by natural or 
artificial means." 

There are very many married people who have 
lived continently before marriage, but, as soon as 
they are wedded, indulge in sexual intercourse day 
after day, neither party dreaming that this is an excess 
which the system can not endure, and which is often 
to both parties simple ruin. This course is continued 
till the health becomes impaired ; and when, at last, 
medical assistance is sought, they are thunder-struck 
at being told that their ailments are the result of mat- 
rimonial excesses ! They can not realize that they 
have been guilty of great and even criminal excesses 
in the indulgence of the sexual passion. They do 
not seem to know that God in forming their bodies 
established laws by which they should be governed ; 
and that a violation of these laws has brought upon 
them its penalties, which they must inevitably bear. 

The long train of diseases and sufferings conse- 
quent upon these excesses are too numerous to be 
mentioned here ; but a majority of the diseases incident 
to the female organs, such as inflammations, ulcera- 
tions, displacements, tumors, cancers, etc., most com- 
monly have their origin in sexual abuses, and are 
quite as liable to be begotten in married life as by 
abuses in single life. Little girls are born with a 
transmitted tendency to these diseases, and even the 
slightest exciting causes often serve to develop them. 
Very much of the nervousness and hysteria so com- 
mon among women arises from abuses of the sexua 1 


function : in single life it is often the result of excite- 
ment of the sexual organs, induced by reading " love- 
sick" novels, and cherishing lascivious thoughts, 
while in married life it is from the overtaxation of the 
nervous system by marital excesses. 

I know the heart-history of many noble, high-toned 
women, whose whole being revolts at the use to which 
they are put ! Yet their ideas of domestic peace are 
so exalted that, loyal and true, they submit them- 
selves a constant sacrifice, and, by the mere force of 
will, keep alive the fire of love within their tortured 
souls ; living martyrs are they, daily enduring a 
fiercer ordeal than any to which the Christian mar- 
tyrs were subjected. Many of these husbands are all 
the wife could ask, except in this one thing, and 
never dream but that they love those whom they have 
promised to " honor and cherish ;" but it is a love so 
full of selfishness that it ceases to be true. 

Many men argue that "love between husband ana 
wife would die out but for the constant indulgence of 
the sexual passion." It is false ! The love that re- 
strains indulgence within the limits of the sexual 
law, that seeks to deny itself for the happiness of the 
being beloved, is infinitely more pure, more holy, 
more intense, more lasting, than that which seeks a 
lustful gratification, and forces upon its object tokens 
which she loathes ; while the love of a wife for the 
husband who recognizes and obeys the laws of his 
being in these things is beyond all power of expres- 
sion. Her deepest respect and highest reverence are 
his, and her very soul flows out in love for him, inas- 
much as he presents pure and unsullied the image of 


But the number of women whose love survives the 
unhallowed test of sexual abuse is small compared 
with those whose respect and reverence die out, 
whose love loses its beauty and its power, whose 
hearts bleed and faint, and bodies grow weak and 
sick, until nervous irritability and fretfulness take the 
place of the love- words and love-tokens which should 
form a goodly part of woman's life. And thus the 
unhappiness, the unkindness, and the petty bickerings 
so frequent in the home circle are, almost without ex- 
ception, the result of marital excesses. The husband 
whose love for the wife has become degraded to mere 
lust for the woman, and whose nervous system is 
racked by his excesses, is in no mood to soothe the 
ruffled waves of the domestic sea ; and the children, 
inheriting the sad legacy, often serve to roll these 
waves up mountain high, until the love which God 
implanted as the root of the marriage relation is 
crushed, and buried beneath the blackened sod of 
sexual abuse ! 

Our graveyards, could they speak, would send forth 
a sad and sickening wail from the young wives and 
mothers who have been placed there, the victims 
of matrimonial abuse of the sexual function. Our 
Greenwoods, our Auburns, and our Laurel Hills are 
dotted with graves of young and middle-aged women, 
whose lives have been offered up as a sacrifice to the 
lustful passions of their husbands. And not always 
are these husbands ignorant of the result they are 
hastening ; yet they will not pause in their guilty 
work, but deliberately and often furiously commit the 
murder for which, were justice meted out to them, 


they would " hang by the neck till they were dead," 
instead of being permitted to live and woo a second, 
a third, and sometimes even a fourth victim to their 
base desires. 

Many husbands, too, are stricken down in conse- 
quence of marital excesses. There are more widows 
in our land to-day, made so by these excesses, than 
those who have been widowed by the war through 
which we just have passed. Many a man as well as 
woman has gone into a decline in consequence of gross 
violation of the sexual law. God has, indeed, as he 
threatens those who " despise my statutes," " ap- 
pointed over" him " terror, consumption, and the 
burning ague, that shall consume the eyes and cause 
sorrow of heart." Truly, nature " is no respecter of 
persons," for she enforces upon all the fact that " not 
one jot or one tittle shall in anywise pass from the 
law till all be fulfilled." 

The human race are wondering and mourning 
over the " mysterious dispensations of Providence " 
in permitting so much disease, and removing from 
earth so many of the middle-aged and the young ; 
and we are exhorted to consider this a lesson God is 
teaching to prepare for death. The facts are these : 
people destroy their own lives, and the lives of their 
children, by their own sexual abuses, and God suffers 
them to die, because they have so often and so grossly 
violated the laws he has ordained that they are not fit 
to live ! Very many of the sickly, puny, scrofulous 
children whom we daily see are the offspring of par- 
ents who are addicted to matrimonial excesses. 
Many parents mourn the loss of young children who 


have died in infancy or early youth, because the vi- 
tality which should have been given to them before 
birth was used up in sexual excesses ! If the world 
would learn this lesson from the deaths that are con- 
stantly occurring, if they would learn that God has 
made laws which have here been disobeyed, then, in- 
deed, might they learn that which would not only 
bless mankind, but give glory unto God ! Then 
would they be prepared not only for death, but for 
life, which is infinitely better, inasmuch as death is 
but a point in existence, while life stretches out on 
both sides of it, beautiful, glorious, grand. 

Every one who reflects upon this subject will ad- 
mit that the solitary vice of self-abuse is a terrible 
evil which should be done away ; and that promis- 
cuous licentiousness and prostitution are heinous 
crimes, to the extinction of which the law should be 
applied ; but how few there are who stand ready to 
probe this corrupting evil to its very core, and cleanse 
the fountain from which the virus flows ! 

The foundation of this whole scheme of abuse of the 
sexual function is laid in the marriage-bed. Children 
who early fall into the habit of self-abuse, and young 
men and women who become libertines and prosti- 
tutes, are often not so much to blame as are the par- 
ents who, by their excesses in married life, entailed 
upon them a depraved organization. 

Many a child is born who was begotten of lust and 
not of love ! at a time, too, when neither parent had 
any desire for offspring, but came together for the 
sole purpose of gratifying an abnormal craving which 
should have been restrained. And not only this, but 


during every day, while the little one was being de- 
veloped in its mother's womb, that mother submitted 
to the embraces of her husband, sometimes, perhaps, 
with pleasure, at others with discomfort, if not with 
torture. And what must be the effect of such a 
course of action upon the forming child ? If the 
fountain is corrupt, can the stream which flows there- 
from be other than impure ? 

Many a man and woman would shun the society of 
a profligate, and shrink from one who would sell her 
virtue for gain as from a viper or a scorpion ; yet they 
themselves, under cover of the marriage rite, are just 
as guilty in the sight of God with regard to the sacred 
laws of their own body as those whom they condemn. 

The great Redeemer of the world has said : " Ye 
have heard that it hath been said by them in old 
time, Thou shalt not commit adultery : but I say 
unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust 
after her hath committed adultery with her already 
in his heart." And this saying reaches forth into 
married as well as single life, for Christ makes no 
reference to wedlock as being an exception when 
he speaks thus. 

Aside from the conditions and diseases which 
produce suffering and death as a result of marital 
excesses, violations of the sexual law are a frequent 
cause of sterility ; for they not only induce an ab- 
normal condition of the female organs of generation, 
so as to render conception doubtful, if not impossible, 
but the spermatozoa, not being permitted to mature, 
do not possess the fecundating power, and, of course, 
without this, conception can never occur. I am often 


consulted by parties desirous of offspring, and in 
many cases the simple adherence to continence for a 
few weeks or months, as the case may be, has been 
followed by the desired result. 

Excesses in this direction are also a frequent cause 
of partial or complete impotency and premature old 
age ; the organs become so weakened by being over 
used that all power is lost ; and this, with its accom- 
panying loss of health, and loss of respect between 
husband and wife, is a fruitful cause of misery and 
wretchedness wherever it exists. 


This is a most deplorable evil, a most foul and in- 
human crime, which results from unrestrained indul- 
gence of the sexual passions. 

Instead of this indulgence being restricted to pro- 
creation, as the Creator designed, instead of seeking 
to control and apply the sexual powers to the sacred 
purpose of producing offspring of the highest, noblest 
type, every conceivable device is sought whereby the 
indulgence may be continued and the design be 
thwarted. Innumerable contrivances are gotten up 
to prevent conception, and when, in spite of these 
devices, it does take place, the agents of death are 
unhesitatingly employed to destroy the child in em- 
bryo ere it is capable of an independent existence. 

Few are aware of the fearful extent to which this 
nefarious business, this worse than devilish practice, 
is carried on in all classes of society ! Many a wo- 
man determines that she will not become a mother, 
and subjects herself to the vilest treatment, commit- 


ting the basest crime to carry out her purpose. And 
many a man, who has " as many children as he can 
support," instead of restraining his passions, aids in 
the destruction of the babes he has begotten. 

The sin lies at the door of both parents in equal 
measure ; for the father, although he may not always 
aid in the murder, is always accessory to it, in that 
he induces, and sometimes even forces upon the moth- 
er the condition which he knows will lead to the com- 
mission of this crime. 

But the effort to destroy the child is many times 
unsuccessful, and the little one is born with murder 
in his heart, stamped there by the murderous inten- 
tions of his own mother. And what wonder that 
these inborn passions should lead him to the lowest 
depths of degradation both as regards the body and 
the soul ? Many a child lives to mature years, 
dwarfed and deformed in body, and irritable and im- 
becile in mind, a disgrace to himself and to the race, 
who might have been a model of beauty and strength, 
both physically and mentally, but for the attempts 
of his parents to destroy his life before he was born. 

And besides all this, the consequences of such a 
practice are most disastrous both upon the physical 
and moral nature of those whose souls are stained 
with this terrible sin. The general health of the 
mother is often ruined, and the generative organs 
seriously injured. No system can endure the shock 
produced by this unnatural crime without being more 
or less impaired, while many a woman meets death 
as a penalty for her sin ; others live, but are never 
again in a condition to conceive, and often suffer con- 


stantly in consequence of their fiendish endeavors ; 
while others still are enabled to bear children, but 
with such anguish as no tongue may tell, and the 
child thus born is frequently a curse to himself and all 
with whom he is connected.* 

When the sinfulness of this practice is pointed 
out, many women affirm : " Oh ! I wouldn't do it, of 
course I wouldn't, after there was life !" They do 
not realize the truth that, the moment impregnation 
takes place, life begins — the body begins. 

Abortionists teach the sophistry that " until the 
mother feels motion there is no life f but if there 
were no life before that time, there surely would be 
none after. This period of " quickening," as it is 
termed, is simply that stage of development in the 
child when it is capable of making its motions felt. 
There is life just as truly at conception as at birth, or 
when the child is five years old. It being mind that 
makes the man, just as well might the child be de- 
stroyed at birth, with the argument that its mental and 
moral faculties had no life, for they lie dormant at that 
time even as does the physical before " quickening." 

He who destroys a child in embryo, at whatever 
period of its term, stands arraigned before his God 
as a destroyer of life ! Take warning, then, and obey 
the laws of your sexual nature, that you may never 
be pointed out as the agent for whose gratification 
these direful deeds are done. 

* The disinclination for child-bearing among American women, and 
the consequent decrease in the number of their children, arises, to a 
great extent, from their physical unfitness for the trust ; and this un- 
fitness is largely the result of inherited weakness and disease caused 
by sexual abuse. 



O those who feel an interest in the welfare 
and progress of suffering and diseased 
humanity, the question forces itself home : 
What can be done to stay this flood-tide of evil that 
is sweeping over our fair land, bearing death and de- 
struction upon its wild waves ? Let all who have a 
heart to feel and a tongue to speak consider what can 
be done to check this tornado of self-degradation 
and ruin, which is crushing the highest hopes, blast- 
ing the brightest prospects, and wasting the vital 
stamina of so many of our children and youth, and 
destroying the harmony and happiness of the whole 

What can be done in order that the young, and 
even those of maturer years, shall know the nature of 
their own organization, and the laws which should 
control their physical being ? How shall they obtain 
a knowledge of the duty they owe to themselves, their 
fellow-beings, and their God ? In what way shall 
they learn how to use the bodies and souls which 
God has given them, so as to be productive of the 
truest happiness to themselves, the greatest good to 


their fellow-men, and the highest honor to their 
Creator ? 

The one thing most needed is proper and thor- 
ough instruction upon these subjects. In the ma- 
jority of cases these evils are the result of sins com- 
mitted in ignorance ; and when the sin is committed 
knowingly, it is in many cases an uncontrollable pas- 
sion, which was begun in ignorance of the evils that 
would follow, and continued until reason and con- 
science and will had all become the victims of its 
power. " There are thousands of men who, for want 
of a mother to talk to them, for want of a father to 
teach them, have utterly destroyed the vitality, and 
taken out the very stamina of their life." 

" Somebody ought to teach young men what is the 
organization of their bodies, and what is the meaning 
of those secret sins and pleasures which carry hell 
in them/'* 


To work a radical and effectual reform in this mat- 
ter, we must begin where the foundation of all educa- 
tion begins — in the family ; in the home circle. Pa- 
rents, fathers and mothers, you are the ones to give 
your little boy and girl the instruction they most 
need upon these subjects. You are the ones who 
have given, or will give, to your children the predis- 
positions to vice or virtue ! You only know what 
tendencies toward excesses your child has inherited ! 
You know what your own lives had been previous to 

* See Beecher's article in Herald of Health, for July, 1867. 


his conception ! You know whether the passion in 
which he was begotten was ennobling or debasing ! 
You know to what influences he was subjected while 
being developed in his mother's womb and nursing 
at her breast ; and you know that his organization is, 
to a great extent, dependent upon those influences. 

See to it, then, that he is taught at an early age 
the laws which govern his own being, and the untold 
injury to his body and his soul which must follow a 
violation of those laws. Watch closely at every point 
where, from his inherited tendencies or present sur- 
roundings, he will be most likely to go astray. Let 
there be no false modesty, no affected delicacy, no 
hesitating upon the subject. Do not shrink from or 
ignore your duty, for fear that the mention of these 
things will suggest or excite impure thoughts in the 
mind of your child which may lead him astray. If 
he was playing near a terrible precipice, would you 
hesitate to point out the dangerous spot, lest the lit- 
tle one might thereby be allured thither, and by a 
knowledge of the place be induced to take the step 
which would " lead him down to death " ? 

Do not hope or imagine that, if you say nothing to 
your children about these vices, they will grow up in 
innocence, ignorant of their existence, and thereby 
escape the evils resulting from them ! You may rest 
assured that, if you do not give your child right in- 
struction and correct ideas of the proper use of the 
sexual function, somebody else will be certain to 
give them knowledge that is wrong, and ideas that 
are false and impure ! Do not leave this matter to 
chance, nor to the teacher, the doctor, or the minis- 


ter ; for, before your child is old enough to pass under 
their care, it may be too late. 

Remember that God has placed this child in your 
hands, and he holds you responsible for its predisposi- 
tions ', for its developme7it,for its education, for its suc- 
cess in life. It depends upon you, in a great mea- 
sure, whether it shall grow up to maturity a strong, 
vigorous, healthy, and happy man or woman, who 
feels it a joy to live, who is an honor to its parents 
and a blessing to the world ; or a poor, miserable, 
degraded wreck, a slave to his own appetites and 
lusts, with no mind, no purpose, no will, but to be 
led about by whatever surrounding influences hap- 
pen to be most powerful ; like a ship at sea, without 
captain, compass, or rudder, dashed by every wave 
that rises and tossed by every wind that blows. 

Mothers, let me appeal to you to make it your own 
especial duty, the most sacred duty which you owe to 
God, to inform yourselves fully with regard to the 
laws of human existence and development, and then 
teach your sons and your daughters the nature and 
results of the vices and evils that grow out of dis- 
obedience to those laws. 

A few words of earnest, truthful instruction from 
you before their passions are excited and evil habits 
formed, may save your child from years of wretched- 
ness and woe, and yourself the unmitigated sorrow 
of seeing the sufferings of your beloved one as he 
stands tottering on the very verge of ruin, from which 
you have no power to save ! If you could hear, as I 
have heard, the cries of agony from thousands of 
young men all over the land ; if you could hear^ the 


wailings from the very depths of anguished souls, of 
wrecked and ruined bodies, and unbalanced minds ! 
" Oh ! if some one had only told me that this habit 
would injure me !" " If I had only received a word 
of instruction upon this subject, I should have been 
saved from all this misery" but " / never dreamed that 
it was hurting me till I was on the verge of ruin !" 
Daily and hourly the cry goes up, " O God ! if I had 
only known I' 1 And you, parents, mothers espe- 
cially, are the ones whom God has appointed to 
give this instruction to the children you bear. 

Teach them candidly and honestly the truth con- 
cerning their own organization. Teach them without 
any attempt at concealment for what uses every part 
of their system was designed, and that whatever God 
has made is honorable, if put to an honorable use. 
Do not rest content with a simple mention of this 
subject once or twice, but watch carefully the every- 
day actions and developments of your children, and 
enforce your instructions again and again ; remove 
the mystery which to the minds of children hangs 
about their birth, and you will have gained half the 
battle ;* tell them in a simple, natural way what they 
are always curious to know with regard to the sexual 
function ; and as they grow older, be sure that they 
are made acquainted with the diseases and liabilities 
to suffering which will certainly arise from abuses of 
this function. If they finally, after all your instruc- 
tion, go astray and sin against this knowledge, let 
the sin lie at their own door, rather than have your 
heart broken by remorse that you did not teach them 

* See Appendix. 


to shun the precipice down which they now are in- 
evitably falling. 

But such will not be the case if the instruction is 
properly given and enforced ; and your children will 
" rise up and call you blessed" that you taught them 
truth and purity in place of the error and falsehood 
which are so widely spread abroad. 

Mothers who have instructed their children upon 
these points would tell you, as they have told me, 
that their children have been preserved from evil be- 
cause of their knowledge that it was evil. One 
mother says : " My little boy, whom I have taught to 
understand that it was sinful to handle himself, and 
that he could never grow to be a great and noble 
man if he did so, comes home from school and tells 

me : ' Mamma, Willie does that thing you said 

was wicked, and he tried to make me do it, but I 
wouldn't, for I knew I shouldn't be a great man if I 
did/ " 

Another mother, who had taught her little daughter 
to know good from evil with regard to sexual things, 
says : " My little girl said to me : l O mamma ! wont 

you tell Mattie what you told me ? for she does 

that naughty thing you told me about, and she told 
me to do it ; but I know she wouldn't do it if she 
only knew/ " And this little girl has been the means 
of saving many others from this evil habit by bring- 
ing them to her mother to be taught the results of it, 
and thus they have become pure and virtuous chil- 

Do not fear lest your instructions upon these points 
may lead your children to know and practice evil ; 


for it is even as the Rev. Thomas K. Beecher says to 
a friend : " Those things of a private nature which 
my mother told me when a child have always been 
invested with purity and holiness, while I would give 
much to be able to divest myself of the low associa- 
tions connected with many things of the same class 
which I learned from other sources." 

See to it, also, that your children are fed upon 
plain and simple food, principally of fruits, grains, and 
.vegetables ; that such exciting articles of diet as are 
mentioned in the chapter upon predisposing causes 
are kept from them ; that their persons and clothing 
are kept cleanly ; their sleeping-rooms well venti- 
lated ; and that they have plenty of out-door exercise 
and employment, in order that their blood and nerve- 
power may be used for growth and development, in- 
stead of being exhausted by vices which shall "lead" 
them " down to hell" 

Do not intrust your children to servants unless 
they are such as you yourselves can associate with 
and have confidence in. The purity or impurity of 
your children's habits depends very much upon their 
associates ; and every parent ought to be well ac- 
quainted with the playmates of their children. 

It is better that children should sleep separately ; 
for playing with each other in bed often leads to 
vicious habits. Little boys and girls, brothers and 
sisters, who sleep together in the same bed or the 
same room, often work together in the evil that be- 
comes the ruin of both. 

If you see to it that all the habits of your children 
are pure and virtuous ; that they use all the organs 


of the body and faculties of mind in accordance with 
the laws of their being, instead of mourning their 
death in infancy and childhood, instead of seeing 
them grow up puny, sickly, dyspeptic, consumptive, 
scrofulous specimens of suffering humanity, they will 
be to you noble sons and daughters, of whom you 
may well be proud ; and they will look to you with 
reverence and honor as the authors and preservers 

of their useful and joyous existence. 



Teachers have a great work to do in the preven- 
tion and suppression of abuses of the sexual func- 

The tender, plastic minds of children are placed in 
the teacher's care to be moulded and impressed for 
good or ill, not only in this earth-life, but through- 
out eternity. Glorious is the teachers work, but ter- 
rible his responsibility ! 

There is scarce a teacher in the land who does not 
know that the school, the boarding-school especially, 
is the hot-bed where vicious habits germinate ; that 
one child has often, by his vile practices, contamina- 
ted a whole school, and planted the seeds of ruin in 
hundreds of otherwise happy hearts and homes. 

Teachers themselves are dying 'daily from the 
effects of habits contracted in this way when they 
were young ; and can they fail to see and feel that 
they are bound by every principle of humanity, by 
every law of God, to instruct and warn those who 
come within their influence ? 


Let one hour each week be set apart for instruc- 
tion upon these subjects, for they are of the most vital 
import, and in that one hour more good will be ac- 
complished, more evil done away, than in all other 
departments of school-discipline throughout the 
child's school-life. 

Teachers, I pray you, do not fail to consider this 
matter, and help on, by every means in your power, 
the work of redemption in this direction, of which 
the world stands so sorely in need. Instruct, and 
warn, and watch your boys and girls, win their con- 
fidence and search out their innermost thoughts, and 
you may save from ruin many a soul whose songs 
of thanksgiving shall help to wreathe your crown with 
glory, and whose blessings shall bring added bright- 
ness to your immortal day. 

A scientific knowledge of the anatomy and physi- 
ology of the human system, of the structure and 
function of every organ of the body, should be im- 
parted to every child, together with the inevitable 
results of disobedience to the laws which God has 
made to govern all these organs. Parents place their 
children in the teacher's care that their minds may 
be disciplined and stored with such knowledge as 
will best fit them for the active duties and responsi- 
bilities of life ; and what can be of such vast import- 
ance to any person as a correct knowledge of him- 
self ? what will enable him to assume the responsi- 
bilities of life with such honor to himself and to the 
world as that knowledge which insures to him his 
manhood, his self-control, his reason, and his health ? 

The teacher stands in place of the parent during 


nearly half the child's waking hours, and fti boarding- 
schools much the greater part of his whole child- 
life ; and he is responsible to the child, to the world, 
and to God for that child's attainments and habits. 
Let him look after eve»y boy and girl separately and 
singly ; and, if one is inclined to evil, let the results 
of his sins be so vividly and so truthfully pointed out 
that the dark and damning picture can not fail to 
make him pause ere he bring upon himself and others 
the blackness of despair. 

But if warnings fail and watchings prove ineffec- 
tual, the teacher's duty bids that such a child should 
be expelled rather than that the pure and innocent 
shall suffer through time and eternity on account of 
his vile sins. 


The teachers of the great truths of Christianity 
have a very important mission to perform in leading 
the world in the right direction as regards the phys- 
ical laws of our being. 

Heretofore this duty has been entirely neglected, 
and all their efforts have beeh spent in preaching of 
salvation in the world to come, without a thought of 
the salvation so essential in this. They have been 
striving to save the souls of men in another world 
while the souls and bodies were both going to irre- 
trievable ruin and death in this. 

The great fundamental laws of God, as established 
in man's physical organization, have never been rec- 
ognized or referred to. The human body has been 


considered as a vile, corruptible thing, of no more 
consequence than so much worm-eaten and useless 

Ministers have taught that sickness, suffering, and 
premature death were the inevitable result of the 
sins of Adam, and that this condition must be ac- 
cepted with meekness, for thereby would its mission 
to us-ward be accomplished, inasmuch as we should 
thus become sanctified and prepared to meet God's 
" providences " in our own persons. 

We have had plenty of sermons about " the fall of 
man," about " the Trinity," about lying, stealing, 
Sabbath-breaking, covetousness, idolatry, drunken- 
ness, slavery, etc., with occasional hints at certain 
forms of licentiousness ; but who ever heard of a min- 
ister saying one word about the sin of sexual ex- 
cess in married life, or the soul-and-body-destroying 
influences of solitary vice ? How many church-mem- 
bers of any religious sect are taught that it is a sin 
against the laws which God has established in man's 
own physical, mental, and spiritual nature, for them 
to use up their best vital blood, taking the stamina 
from every tissue of their body, and throwing it away 
for the mere momentary gratification of an animal 
passion ? How many church-members can you find 
who confine their sexual indulgences to the purposes 
of procreation ? How many of the children, how 
many of the young men and young women, are 
taught that it is a sin against God and against their 
own souls and bodies for them to resort to artificial, 
polluting, and vicious gratification of the sexual de- 
sires ? 


Do people argue that the strength and extent of 
the passion in man is evidence that his Creator de- 
signed it for his pleasure, and therefore it is right to 
indulge for other purposes than that of producing 
offspring, and that it can not be restrained to that 
exclusive use ? If it is right to indulge once for the 
mere pleasure, i's it not equally so to indulge twice, 
three times, fifty times, even to complete satiety ? 
Does not the greatest libertine and prostitute in the 
land find an excuse for indulgence in this same code 
of reasoning ? 

I have been consulted by men professing to be 
Christians, as much as by any other class, for dis- 
eases arising from abuses of this function ; and 
they have been abusing themselves since becoming 
church-members, the same as before, never thinking 
that they were sinning in so doing. This is partic- 
ularly true with regard to matrimonial excesses, and 
in many cases with masturbators. 

Henry Ward Beecher, in his most excellent Dis- 
course to Medical Students, published in the Her- 
ald of Health, April, 1 867, gives some golden advice 
to physicians with regard to their duties in instruct- 
ing the people as to the laws of their being, every 
word of which is equally applicable to the members 
of his own profession. 

This discourse ought to be published in every 
medical journal in the world, and sent to every phy- 
sician in Christendom, and one precisely like it, only 
more forcible and' pointed, if possible, should be ad- 
dressed to ministers, and published in every religious 
paper, and brought to the notice of every preacher in 
the universe. 


Let me make a few quotations from this same ser- 
mon of Mr. Beecher's, to substantiate my ideas, and 
show you that one minister, at least, knows and fears 
not to do his duty : " What God creates no man or 
woman need be ashamed to know, and especially 
where it is knowledge of creations that belong to 
ourselves, and take hold of the very essence of our 
being, and constitute a part of their function and 
duty ; and it is a shame that at this stage of civiliza- 
tion both sexes should not be instructed in these 

" Many a young man has gone on week after week 
and month after month, holding out more and more 
plainly the signals of declining health and strength ; 
but no one inquires into the cause of his troubles, or 
takes much notice of his perilous condition, until it 
is too late to save him. At last his sun goes down, 
his companions wear crape at his funeral, and the 
minister says : ' In the mysterious providence of God 
this young man has been prematurely called away ! ' 
It is false ! he was a victim of ignorance of the laws 
of his being, or of the wicked and terrible conse- 
quence of a violation of those laws ! This young 
man was a suicide ! It does not take a man with a 
rope around his neck to be a suicide, or with a po- 
tion of poison in his stomach." 

" Many a man commits suicide by eating, and 
many a man drivels his life away in infinitesimal 
ways. Punishment for violated law is just as certain 
as that the sun itself shines ; arid no man violates a 
law of his body, or any part of it y that there is not 
registered in time a penalty." 


" All around us natural laws are being trodden on, 
and are rising up to avenge themselves, and are 
wounding and bruising and slaying multitudes." 

This is all too true ; and in no department are 
" God's laws being trodden on " and " slaying multi- 
tudes " as in abuses of the sexual function, both in 
married and single life. 

Have not Christianity and Christian ministers, 
then, an important mission to perform in this mat- 
ter ? Is it possible for God to save the souls of men 
and take them home to heaven when they have pol- 
luted their bodies, squandered their manhood, and 
destroyed their own life-lease by disobedience to the 
laws on which the life and health of the soul as well 
as the body depend ? 

Do you say these subjects are too delicate to be 
taught from the pulpit ? God did not consider them 
too delicate when he gave inspiration for the writing 
of the Bible ; Christ did not consider them too deli- 
cate for him to teach and to preach upon. If Christ 
ever demonstrated one thing more clearly than an- 
other, it was that his mission upon earth was to cure 
man of his diseases as well as forgive his sins ; and 
the relations of sin and sickness were so intimate 
that, whenever and wherever he forgave the one, he 
healed the other ; and should not those who profess 
to teach the doctrines of Christ follow his example ? 
Should not they teach their people how to rid them- 
selves of the diseases with which they are encum- 
bered, at the same time that they teach how to reno- 
vate and purify the soul ? for the purification of 


man's body is an important means by which his soul 
is rendered capable of being redeemed from sin. 

I think, with Mr. Beecher, that " sickness is a sin ;" 
and " if a man is sick, and is not guilty, he ought to 
prove it, that his case may be made a special excep- 
tion. As a general rule, men ought not to die till 
they are old. Boys ought not to die, and young men 
ought not to die !" 

"Why, do you suppose a man can abuse his God in 
his nerves and in his passions, and tread down the 
laws that God has established all through his body, 
and then, standing on the ruins that he has made 
and is continuing to make of his physical system, lift 
himself up to inherit the glorious promises in Christ 
Jesus ? It is impossible !" 

" Do not I see, on the other hand, how easily spir- 
itual experiences are producible when the blood is 
pure, the brain healthy, the stomach sound, and the 
liver, that proteus of mischief, attending to its own 
duties and nothing else ?" And he might have 
added with still greater force, " And the sexual func- 
tion unabusedr 

" Men who are rightly instructed in matters per- 
taining to health, and who maintain obedience to nat- 
ural laws, are very easily led along the Christian way. 
Many think the Christian way is hard ; it is hard 
because men are perverted ! Christianity is but an- 
other name for nature — the living, divine nature 
which Christ came to instill into mankind ; and no 
man can be said to be moving so naturally as he 
who lives in accordance with the precepts and ex- 
amples of Christ Jesus/' 


The truth is, obedience to the sexual law might well 
constitute an important part of every church creed ! 
A normal use of the sexual function might be re- 
quired as a condition of church membership ; it 
might be incorporated in the church discipline, 
taught in the catechism, proclaimed from the pulpit, 
enforced by ministers and laymen ; and the man who 
would habitually violate this fundamental law of his 
being, and abuse himself sexually, either in or out 
of wedlock, ought to be excommunicated from the 
church just as rigidly as for theft, drunkenness,. or 

Ministers should preach sermons, earnest, living 
sermons, concerning these abuses, from the pulpit and 
the lecture-room ; they should instruct parents with 
regard to their duties in rearing their children, so 
that they may grow up to manhood and womanhood 
in obedience to physical laws, freed from the con- 
taminating influences of sexual vice. They should 
teach the young that everywhere and under all cir- 
cumstances disobedience to law is immorality, and 
obedience to all God's laws alone constitutes morality. 

When the intimate and inseparable relations be- 
tween body and soul, and the influence of physical 
causes upon spiritual conditions, are fully recognized ; 
when all the laws which God has made to govern the 
entire organization of mankind are understood and 
taught in the family, the school, and the church, 
then may we speedily look for the time when the 
great and saving truths of Christianity shall be real- 
ized, and man shall feel that he enjoys the kingdom 
of heaven within him, and be able to render his body 


as well as his soul " a living sacrifice, holy and ac- 
ceptable unto God." 

physicians' duties. 

It is a lamentable fact that there are very few 
among our " regular " physicians who have given the 
subject of abuses of the sexual function the attention 
it demands. 

Although the medical profession have long been 
cognizant of its evils, and medical authors have oc- 
casionally referred to the subject, yet not until quite 
recently have we had any elaborate treatise upon it 
from that source. Lallemand and Wilson have given 
us a book that has thrown great light upon the na- 
ture of some of the diseases arising from sperma- 
torrhea. Acton's work is very elaborate, and should 
be read not only by physicians, but by every body 
who is old enough to understand the subjects treated 
of. Although I do not indorse all the teachings of 
these works, yet they contain many things of great 
value and interest. 

Most of the popular works of the day upon this 
topic are from those who stand outside of the medi- 
cal profession. This is not as it should be ; we 
should have from the regular physicians of the coun- 
try, good, sound, plain, scientific instruction upon 
these subjects. We need books prepared by the 
ablest in the profession ; books that will give correct 
ideas in regard to the anatomy and physiology, the 
use and abuse of every part of the human system. 
Every physician should have some well-written essay 


prepared to place in the hands of his patients, that 
shall enlighten their minds with regard to these 
matters. Physicians should prepare popular lectures 
upon anatomy, physiology, and hygiene — which in- 
cludes the important subject of the sexual relations 
— and the people should be brought together to listen 
to them. They should organize in every town phys- 
iological societies, and hold regular meetings every 
week for the discussion of subjects relating to health ; 
and the best lecturers in the country should be pro- 
cured to instruct the people at these meetings. 

The physician should make it a part of his duty to 
instruct the families which come under his medical 
care in all things pertaining to their physical wel- 
fare ; he should teach them the laws which govern 
every department of their nature, and that their 
health and happiness depend almost entirely upon 
their habits of life ; he should watch carefully the 
children, the boys and girls, the young men and wo- 
men in these families, and, wherever sexual vices are 
suspected, see to it that measures are immediately 
taken to suppress them ; let none be left unacquaint- 
ed with the wretchedness and degradation that grow 
out of sexual abuses. 

I will admit that by doing this they will be "killing 
the goose that is laying the golden egg ;" but not for 
ages will the contaminations already rife be rooted 
out ; not for ages will the physician's aid be uncalled 
for ; and even were this blessed condition to obtain, 
it would be far better for the people to pay liberally 
for health preserved than for the nauseous and sick- 
ening drugs given them when sick. If all our pa- 


tients could be spared from sickness, and attend the 
while to their daily duties, they could well afford to 
support our families in better style than we can pos- 
sibly do by means of the fees we gain at their bed- 

If parents, teachers, ministers, and doctors will all 
join in this great reform, it will not be long before 
there will be such an enlightened, scientific under- 
standing of these subjects, and such a strong moral 
influence brought to bear upon young and old, that 
it will be all but impossible for any to go astray. 



N the previous chapters we have pointed 
out the nature of sexual abuse, and the 
fearful conditions, both physical and men- 
tal, engendered by it. We have given directions for 
its prevention and suppression, and now the question 
arises as to how the derangements and diseases of 
those who are suffering from these abuses can be 
overcome ? 

How can lost manhood be restored ? How can 
a disordered and debilitated body, a shattered and 
almost ruined mind, be brought back to health and 
happiness ? How may the incubus that is hanging 
with such weight upon the sufferer be shaken off ? 
What will prevent the involuntary waste of his vital 
force ? What can be done that he may regain his 
self-control, and recover the position from which he 
is so basely fallen ? These questions are constantly 
being asked by the unfortunate victims of sexual 
abuse. They come up to me like wailings from the 
depths of despair ; and in reply I would say : 

Nature in her restorative process demands that 
these poor unfortunates shall render strict obedience 


to the laws of their being. She says they must stop 
sinning ! renounce forever the accursed habits they 
have been practicing ! learn what are her laws with 
regard to their whole bodies, and obey them ! con- 
tinue in such obedience, and the recuperative power 
which she has implanted in all her children will in 
time bring about the desired restoration ; or, at least, 
a palliation of their condition, even though they may 
have gone beyond the point where complete restora- 
tion is possible. 

It is the "patient continuance in well-doing" that 
must work the cure. Those who are foolish enough 
to suppose they can get rid in a few days or weeks 
of the terrible conditions which they have been years 
in contracting, have yet to learn the lesson that the 
debts we owe to nature are not so easily canceled, 
and that they will never be discharged until the 
uttermost farthing has been paid. 

It is impossible to give directions for treatment 
that shall be applicable to every individual case, for 
the effects of these abuses are so varied that many 
persons require directions especially adapted to their 
peculiar conditions. Such as have good digestive 
powers, and can manufacture blood readily, and 
change it rapidly, who have not yet begun to mani- 
fest serious mental disturbances, and who have an 
earnest will to be free from their loathsome curse, 
may hope for cure from general directions. 

But for him whose balance of mind and energy of 
purpose are insufficient to direct his own actions ; in 
whom some organic disease has, perhaps, been in- 
duced, or there is such derangement of the digestive 


organs that there is little or no foundation left to 
work upon, the only hope is in having the advice and 
encouragement of those who understand thoroughly 
the cause of his difficulties, and know how best to 
apply all the agents nature has provided for his 

Many are unable to follow directions for home treat- 
ment, because this involves such an entire change in 
all the habits as to arouse the opposition of friends, 
which is sometimes almost as difficult for the patient 
to overcome as his disease. He can not explain his 
sufferings to those about him, and they think him 
"singular" and "fanatical," and thus he has a double 
enemy to contend with — his diseased conditions and 
the opposition of those whose sympathy he needs. 

The best general directions for home treatment are 
the following : First, the habit that has caused the 
difficulty must be abandoned at once and forever ! If 
the passion is so uncontrollable that there is difficulty 
in restraining the voluntary practice, then all the 
habits of life must be changed, so as to free the 
patient from every thing which excites and stimulates 
the passions. The will-power must be educated and 
worked up to the point of absolute resistance to the 
practice. The blood diverted from the sexual organs 
to other parts of the system. The body and mind 
employed in work of some kind, as much and as ac- 
tive as the strength will bear. Physical training 
either upon the farm, in the workshop, or the gymna- 
sium, where all the muscles shall be called into play, 
is indispensable. If the sufferer follows a sedentary 
occupation, riding, walking, rowing, or exercise in 


the gymnasium should be a part of every day's 

The simplest and at the same time most thorough 
apparatus for gymnastics is Bacon's Home Gymna- 
sium. It can be used in a bed-room, parlor, hall, or 
piazza, and invites such a variety of vigorous exercises 
as will send the blood bounding over the entire body, 
and promote a healthy condition of every part. This, 
with a good set of " dumb-bells " and "clubs," should 
be used daily, and several times a day, by most per- 
sons of sedentary habits, who suffer from sexual 

Dio Lewis's system of light gymnastics, as also Drs* 
Winship and Butler's system of physical training, 
are most excellent aids in overcoming sexual difficul- 

These exercises, when not overdone, have a won- 
derful influence upon the spirits, cheering the very 
soul of him who practices in earnest. They divert 
the thoughts, employ the time, quicken the circula- 
tion, and remove local excitement and irritation. No 
home or school should be without apparatus for these 


The mind must be kept constantly employed dur- 
ing the waking hours. If lascivious thoughts arise, 
dispel them at once ; and there is no way in which 
impure thoughts can be so effectually driven away as 
by filling the mind with those which are pure ! Think 
of your business, the books you have read or are 
reading, or some amusement you have enjoyed or 
are to engage in ; have some book by you constantly 


that you can study, and not have a leisure moment 
unoccupied ; some work of history, or mathematics, 
or theology, or poetry, or music ; commit to memory 
noble thoughts and ideas, poems, etc., and you may 
thus concentrate your mind and divert the blood to 
your brain, and in this way remove the irritation from 
the genital organs. 

Every thing having a tendency to excite the sexual 
feelings should be studiously avoided ; low conversa- 
tion, lewd books and pictures, and, above all, the so- 
ciety of the debased should be shunned, for the in- 
fluence of all these is damning ! The world is full 
of young men who, when together by themselves, 
can scarcely converse upon any other topic than the 
lewd women with whom they have been associated ; 
and if a pure and virtuous man chance to fall in their 
company, his protestations of innocence are disbe- 
lieved, and he is either hissed out, or, as is too often 
the case, tempted to such an extent that he falls, 
after a time, into the vicious habits of his companions. 
And if one whose habits and conditions are already 
inclined toward the downward road associate with 
such as these, he must, of course, become the more 
easy prey. 

Beware, then, young man, what company you 
keep ! Avoid the libertine, if you would escape a 
most fearful doom! The society of true and noble 
men and women should be sought for the purpose of 
intellectual and moral improvement, as also for the 
protection which their refining influence will throw 
around those who are seeking to live a pure and 
honorable life. 


You who are suffering from sexual difficulties must 
remember that you are very liable to magnify your 
ailments, and that you are prone to be continually 
brooding over every symptom. This should cease at 
once ; for, bad as is the disease of itself, it is rendered 
infinitely worse by constant anxiety about it. You 
must not for one moment give way to despondency, 
or think you are not going to recover ; you must be 
hopeful, cheerful, courageous, and fully determined 
to overcome every obstacle in the way to health. 
When you get better, when your nervous system re- 
gains its power, and your whole body begins to re- 
cover its birthright of beauty and strength, all things 
will present quite a different aspect to your view ; 
the clouds which now hang over you so black with 
dark despair will then reveal their silver lining, and 
you will wonder that such settled gloom has ever 
filled your soul. 

You must interest yourself in every laudable occu- 
pation and amusement ; engage in it heartily, that 
your body and mind may both find full employment. 
If there is a debating club or literary society in your 
neighborhood, join it, and take part in the exercises. 
If there is no such society, organize one, and put forth 
all your efforts to make it pleasant and profitable, not 
only for your own good, but for the benefit of others 
who may, perhaps, stand in need of these opportuni- 
ties for employment and improvement as much as 

Never sit down and fold your hands in idleness, 
nor loiter, lounge, or mope about, brooding over your 
sad condition and your unpleasant feelings. If you 


do this, you will die ! You must work, yes, work, 
with a brave and determined spirit, for your own sal- 
vation. It is persistence that wins victories in every 
warfare, and persistence will win the victory for you 
if you do not grow weary in well-doing. 

To carry out this advice will be hard work in the 
beginning, for the passions have so long held sway 
that they will not give up the mastery without a 
struggle ; but you must keep at work ! Be deter- 
mined that reason and conscience shall rule, and, 
when the victory is fairly won, the work of self-con- 
trol will be comparatively easy ! The physical and 
mental training should go on simultaneously, and 
never, for one moment, let the will-power down to 
grovel in degradation as it has been wont to do. 


This should be exceedingly plain and unstimulat- 
ing ; every thing irritating or exciting should be stu- 
diously avoided ; the " luxuries " of life must be dis- 
pensed with ; stimulants of all kinds must be aban- 
doned, as also all drugs, narcotics, and opiates, tea 
and coffee, pepper, vinegar, pickles, spices, condi- 
ments, candies, sweetmeats, rich pies and cakes, 
oysters, eggs, and the excessive use of sugar and 
syrup. If the digestive organs are in good condition, 
I advise, also, abstinence from meat, and the use of 
but little milk and butter, as these articles are more 
or less exciting to the blood and stimulating to the 

There is a twofold good to be derived by abstain- 


ing from all these things ; for, first, it removes from 
the blood certain elements which excite the tendency 
to an abuse of the sexual organs ; and, secondly, it 
affords an opportunity for that discipline of the will, 
and conscience, and moral sense, which is necessary 
in order to gain control over these propensities. 

The diet should consist of plenty of fruit, with the 
various preparations of wheat, corn, rice, and oat- 
meal, with vegetables, all plainly cooked, with the use 
of but little milk, sugar, and salt. Such a diet, par- 
taken of twice a day, at regular hours, with not even 
a " taste " of any thing during the intervals, will sup- 
ply the system with all the elements of nutrition ; 
and, as it is not exciting to the sexual system, it will 
enable a person much sooner to overcome the morbid 
conditions under which he labors. 

When the digestive powers are very weak, and 
there is difficulty in supplying the system with nour- 
ishment, it is not best to abstain from meat alto- 
gether and at once ; for persons who have all their 
lives been accustomed to a mixed diet can not change 
suddenly to an exclusively vegetable diet, and keep 
up as good a supply of blood as upon their accus- 
tomed food. And for this reason, when the digestion 
is impaired, it is unsafe to make a sudden change with 
regard to articles containing nutrition, while the ex- 
hausting seminal drain is going on ; for, while we 
would strive to divert the blood into its normal chan- 
nels, we must not too quickly cut off the supply from 
the system, or life will be cut short before our object 
is accomplished. 

The quantity of food should be only such as can 


be well and easily digested. Most subjects of sexual 
abuse err even more in regard to the quantity than 
the quality of the food they eat ; the appetite is mor- 
bid, there is an intense physical longing for some- 
thing to supply the waste, and they often eat double 
the quantity they can digest Full meals, especially 
suppers, are often the cause of bad dreams, and are 
provocative of seminal losses. Gourmands, while 
they continue to be such, need never hope for a 
cure. Dyspeptic sufferers should never indulge in 
more than three varieties of food at one meal ; the 
food should be eaten very slowly, and thoroughly 
masticated and insalivated. If this rule is observed, 
there is less liability to over-eat. 

Persons suffering from sexual difficulties should 
drink nothing but water ; this may be taken in the 
morning and early part of the day as freely as the 
thirst demands. In many cases great benefit may 
be derived by drinking two or three glasses of soft 
water just after rising and an hour before dinner. 
Avoid drinking much in the after part of the day, 
and especially just before retiring. A full draught 
of cold water in the evening will often occasion night 


A good, thorough morning bath is an indispen- 
sable part of the daily duties of those who wish to 
overcome excessive sexual desires. This may be 
either tepid, cool, or cold, the latter being always 
preferable when a good reaction can be secured. 


Those who have conveniences for a full bath, or 
shower-bath, should take one of these at least three 
times a week, and a thorough towel bath or rubbing 
wet sheet on the alternate mornings. There are no 
circumstances under which a cold towel bath can 
not be procured ; for a pail or basin of water, a coup- 
le of towels, and room enough to stand and move 
the arms, is all that is required for a good ablution 
that will induce external circulation, remove the im- 
purities from the pores of the skin, and allay sexual 
excitement in a remarkable degree. 

The cool or cold hip-bath for twenty minutes or 
half an hour will be of great service ; this may be 
taken daily, or even twice a day in some instances. 
Where this bath can not be procured, a very good 
substitute may be found in laving the genital organs 
several times a day in cold water, by sitting over a 
pail or bucket, and dashing the water with the hand 
upon the organs. 

Weakened cases should avoid the cold shower or 
plunge ; but the cool or cold towel bath, with vigorous 
rubbing, and also the hip-bath, will be admissible. 
Bathe the back part of the head and neck frequently 
in cold water. A light compress applied to this part, 
and changed so as to be kept cool, will be beneficial. 

A wet compress or girdle worn at night around 
the body, so as to cover the stomach and bowels, is, 
in many cases of constipation and impaired digestion, 
very beneficial ; this should be well covered with 
several thicknesses of muslin or flannel, to protect 
the wearer from chills. Upon removing it in the 
morning, the parts should be thoroughly bathed. 


A plunge in the river, creek, or pond, two or three 
times a week, followed by a thorough rubbing, would 
be of benefit during the warm season. 


The matter of sleep is of much importance in cases 
of sexual disturbance. Feather-beds and soft pillows 
are sure to increase the morbid conditions. Better 
sleep upon a hard floor with only a blanket than 
upon feathers. Mattresses of hair, husk, or straw, 
with a quilt spread over them, if need be, are best for 
all who suffer sexually. The bed should never be 
soft and yielding, but firm, and the covering as light 
as may be consistently with warmth ; there will be 
less liability to excitement if the body is kept a little 
cool. Go to bed at nine o'clock at night, and get up 
the moment you wake in the morning ; for second 
sleep, or drowsing in the morning, often induces the 

If the patient wakes in the night, and feels an irri- 
tation of the sexual organs, as though an emission 
were about to take place, let him rise immediately 
and walk about the room, rub the body all over with 
a coarse towel or brush, empty the bladder, and 
bathe the parts with tepid water ; bathe the back of 
the head and forehead with cold water, and thus get 
the blood equalized before again retiring. The blad- 
der should also be emptied before retiring in the 
evening, as the pressure will otherwise be liable to 
cause an emission. 

The habit of sleeping upon the side should be ac- 


quired, as lying upon the back occasions so much 
heat along the spine as to favor the involuntary dis- 
charge. It may be necessary to tie a handkerchief 
around the body, with a large knot upon the spine, 
or place something in a position to waken the pa- 
tient the moment he turns upon his back. 

If the discharge occurs with dreams and erections, 
tying a cord or tape around the penis close to the 
body, in such a way that it may be quickly and easily 
removed, will sometimes rouse the patient before the 
emission takes place, and thus give him the oppor- 
tunity to prevent 'it 

In cases where the habit of self-abuse has such 
strong hold as to be uncontrollable, it may be neces- 
sary to confine the hands during sleep, or to create a 
sore upon the organs by means of caustic, so that 
any attempt at violation would be so painful as to 
cause the patient to desist. 

The diurnal emissions are more readily overcome 
than the nocturnal ; for, when a tendency to excite- 
ment occurs in the daytime, the mind is active, and 
treatment may be applied to allay and prevent it. 
But, when the will and consciousness are locked in 
slumber, no such precaution can be taken. The pa- 
tient suddenly awakes to find his life-powers oozing 
away. In spite of himself, his highest hopes and 
most glowing anticipations are crushed by this con- 
stant drain upon his energies. 


This is a valuable agent in the treatment of sexual 
diseases where there is partial or complete impo- 


tency. When judiciously used, it tends to arouse a 
healthy action in the nerves of any organ, occasions 
a more natural flow of blood to the part, and thus 
restores lost tone and power. 

One of the best means of applying this is by Kid- 
der's Electro-Magnetic Battery, which, with proper 
instruction, any person can use for himself. 

In the electro-magnetic bath a much stronger cur- 
rent can be used, because it is diffused through the 
water before it comes in contact with the body, and 
on this account is more beneficial. 

Electricity is not applicable in cases where there is 
much excitability of the genital organs, and should 
never be applied in any case without proper advice 
and instruction. 


This is also an excellent aid in the treatment of 
sexual difficulties. It cleanses the skin, establishes 
action in the sebaceous and respiratory glands, and 
thus frees the system from much of its impurity. It 
also equalizes the circulation of the blood, overcomes 
local irritations, and helps to build up the general 
health. This bath, accompanied by a local spray or 
douche to the genital organs, is a most effective agent 
in nearly all cases suffering from these difficulties. 


tends to draw the blood to the muscles and strength- 
en them at the same time that the sexual organs are 
relieved. This system of treatment gives tone and 


elasticity to all the organs of the body, improves 
digestion, removes constipation, arouses a healthy 
action of the liver, increases the size of the chest 
and power of the lungs, and- thus improves the gener- 
al health. The nervous system is also soothed and 
quieted by the " Movements," and, as the irritation and 
excitement are allayed, sleep is promoted. Patients 
often fall asleep in the operating-room, even when 
they can scarcely sleep at all elsewhere. Almost 
every patient who resorts to the Movement Cure for 
these difficulties, is amazed and delighted with the 
effects produced. 


Lallemand, Acton, Wilson, and many of the lead- 
ing surgeons of the day, are in the habit of cauteriz- 
ing the prostate gland and mucous surface of the 
urethra for this disease, and they claim that it is of 
great benefit. 

If we are to suppose that the difficulty consists 
entirely in a disease of this gland and membrane, we 
might, perhaps, look for its removal by such means. 
But as the brain and -nervous system, the digestive 
organs, muscles, testicles, vas deferens, vesiculae 
seminales, and, in short, every part of the system, is 
involved, as well as the prostate gland and mucous 
membrane of the urethra, we can readily see how 
small will be our prospect of cure if we rely upon 
one, two, three, or a dozen applications of caustic to 
the parts mentioned. 

There are, without doubt, some cases of great 


irritation of this gland and membrane, where, by 
changing the character of the secretions, and de- 
stroying the diseased surface by caustics, much bene- 
fit will accrue ; but to rely upon them for cure is 
simply preposterous. 

Some authors claim that they have never known 
injury to arise from the use of caustics ; but I have 
had patients who had been treated in this way before 
coming under my care, whom I feel sure were injured 
by the practice. I do not say that I would never 
advise its use, but it should be applied only by one 
who has a correct knowledge of the case, and of the 
effects *of the caustic to be applied. 


Innumerable instruments and fixtures have been 
devised to be worn about the genital organs for the 
purpose of preventing the involuntary emissions ; 
but from my own judgment, and the testimony of 
those who have worn them, my opinion is, that they 
are entirely ineffectual to accomplish the purpose for 
which they were designed. 

I have seen none as yet that possess any great 
advantage over the tape or cord previously referred 
to. These inventions are not curative ; and I trust 
that no one will fritter away his time and money in 
this direction, but look for salvation to a higher 


Very many of the physicians of the present day 
recommend marriage as a cure for seminal emissions, 


or spermatorrhea. This is done with the idea that it 
is right and lawful for man to gratify his sexual pas- 
sions for the mere pleasure of the act. But let me 
assure you that marriage will not cure seminal emis- 
sions. I have had many married men, and have 
several at the present time, under my treatment for 
these very difficulties, some of whom are thus dis- 
eased in consequence of excessive indulgence in 
married life. Several have married under the advice 
of physicians, but have never been able to perform 
the sexual act. Their marriage-vows are but a mock- 
ery, for how can a woman be " honored " by a self- 
ruined and degraded semblance of a man ? 

Even though there may be sufficient strength of 
the parts to admit of " intercourse," there is little or 
no pleasure in the act ; and the children who are so 
unfortunate as to be born of such parents are gener- 
ally enfeebled and diminutive specimens of humanity 
— a disgrace against God and a foul reproach to man. 

While I would not discourage marriage between 
persons who are in a normal and healthy condition, 
yet I can not recommend it as a cure for diseases 
arising from abuses of the sexual function. The 
statistics of mortality which are so often quoted as 
evidence that married life favors longevity, must be 
taken with a good deal of allowance ; for it is an in- 
disputable fact that very many who live in celibacy 
do so in consequence of weakness brought upon 
themselves by self-abuse in early life, and the mor- 
tality amongst this class is of necessity increased by 
such abuse. 

My advice to young men is, now and always, get 


rid of your diseases first ; bring back your manhood 
in all its vigor and its strength ; prove your power to 
control yourself ; then, and not till then, may you 
consider yourself privileged, with the blessing of 
God, to assume the highest duties and responsibilities 
that pertain to humanity — those of the husband and 
the father. 


If there is any condition in life that calls for re- 
generation ; if there is any state into which human 
beings are fallen, where the merits of a Saviour are 
needed for their redemption ; if a power superior to 
and independent of human power is ever necessary 
to restore man to the high position he has lost, this 
regeneration, this Saviour, and this higher power are 
needed by those who have sunk to their condition of 
depravity by abuses of the sexual function. 

It is to such as these that Christ came to be a 
Saviour ; and it will be only " by fasting and pray- 
er," by being " born of water and of the spirit," by 
faith in Christ and obedience to all his examnles as 


well as his precepts, that the devil within them can 
be cast out, and they be made whole. 

Christ recognized all the laws of his being. He 
rendered obedience to the laws of digestion when he 
refused to eat things not fit for food any more than 
"stones should be made bread." He obeyed the 
natural law by refusing to cast himself down from 
the pinnacle of the temple, even though great temp- 
tations were offered. And who can tell how much of 
his power to heal the sick and call the dead to life 


came from the preservation of his own life-power by 
strict obedience to the laws of nature ? 

The victims of sexual vice need to know that God 
requires obedience to the sexual law as much as any 
other. They need to know that it is only by accept- 
ing Christ as a physical Saviour that he becomes in 
the full sense of the word a spiritual one. 

Church-members need to know this ; for they need 
regeneration as much as those outside the pale of the 
church, with regard to matters pertaining to sexual 
indulgence. There are very few who follow Christ 
and his teachings in these things, and this accounts 
in a great measure for the fact that there is so much 
suffering and disease among them. 

Christ healed the diseases of all whose sins he for- 
gave, and he does the same now, whenever the sins 
are all forsaken ; and if the sins had not been for- 
saken in those days, the healing would not have been 
effectual, for it is by the forsaking of sin that we 
prove our right to be forgiven. 

He also gave power to heal to all whom he sent 
out to preach the Gospel. This power ought to be 
in the Church to-day ! and would be, if Christianity 
were believed and practiced as it was taught and 
established by its Founder. 

Let all those who suffer from abuses of the sexual 
function accept Christ as a Saviour from all their sins, 
take the Bible as " the man of their counsels," and 
obey all God's laws as revealed in it, in their own 
bodies and souls, and in the great book of nature 
spread out around them, and they may, by persistent 


effort in well-doing, yet hope for redemption, both in 
this life and in that which is to come. 

Then shall they know and obey the laws of God, 
which are written " in their hearts and in their minds ; 
and they shall teach no more every man his neigh- 
bor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the 
Lord: for they shall all know'' him, "from the least 
unto the greatest." "And the inhabitant shall 
not say, I am sick : the people shall be forgiven 
their iniquity." " Sorrow and sighing shall flee 
away," and God's " will be done in earth as it is in 


P P E N D I X , 


In the mind of every child lies God-implanted the desire for 
knowledge. It is a necessity of his being ; and one of the 
strongest proofs that "the proper study of mankind is man" 
lies in the fact that with the first dawning of the intellect the 
question arises in the mind of a child as to how and where he 
was made. This is not curiosity in the common acceptation of 
the term. This reaching out for knowledge by the expanding 
intellect is the necessary outgrowth of the possession of human 
life, and every child is born with the right to demand that this 
outgrowth shall be satisfied. 

When your child questions about the fire, the water, or the 
air, do, you put him off with simply telling him that God made 
them ? And if he persists in being unsatisfied, do you tell him 
that he must not ask questions about it ? Do you tell him that 
he is not old enough to know, or that when he is older he will 
learn all about these things ? No, you tell him truth ! just as 
much as his little mind can grasp, and enough to satisfy his de- 
sires. This is as it should be. And when he asks : " Mamma, 
where did you get me ?" " Where did I live before you had 
me ?" it is his right to receive truthful information, and your 
duty to impart it. 

There is no low thought in his mind now, and you hold the 
key that shall lock out all such thoughts for the future. If you 
do not use your power, the evils that may result you can not 
estimate, for this innate demand of his nature will be satisfied ! 
He will not give up the search ; but, pondering upon it and 
upon the fact that you will not tell him, or that you have told 
him falselv — for children have an inborn sense of the fact when 


they are being deceived in these matters — he eagerly looks and 
listens, if perchance he may catch the coveted knowledge from 
some other source. Ere long he hears a word dropped, per- 
haps by you or his father — something which you think " the 
child will never notice " — and a low thought at once creeps in. 
He does not seek for further knowledge from you, but the way 
to death has been opened to him, and, not knowing that it is 
such, he watches at every corner, looking and longing for more 
of the " forbidden fruit ;" and is it any wonder that he is caught 
in the snare which evil companions picture to him as being a 
bed of flowers ? 

As soon as your child is old enough to ask how he was 
made, tell him frankly and earnestly that he was developed in 
his mother's body. And at this period of the little one's life the 
mother has a rare opportunity for bringing the mental relation- 
ship between herself and her child even closer than the phy- 
sical had been before his birth ; for she may so infold the little 
mind in hers, that she will be enabled to unfold therefrom 
almost at her pleasure. 

She may teach him that he is a part of herself, and that for 
many months he was nourished and developed from her very 
blood, just as much as her hand or her heart. She may im- 
press upon him the fact that, having borne and suffered so much 
to give him life, she has a right to expect him so to use his life- 
powers that she may never have cause to regret that she gave 
him birth. She may so confide in him that the confidence will 
be reciprocated throughout his life ; and she will thus not only 
teach him truths that he has a right to know, but she will beget 
a confiding spirit that shall be to him as saving grace from the 
evils and temptations of the world. 

Oh ! what a stronghold the mother fails to win when she 
turns her child from her in his simple, natural questionings to 
seek elsewhere the knowledge which he must have ! Consider 
this, ye to whom God has given a child, and bind him to you, 
instead of cutting loose the cords and sending him adrift upon 
the wild waste of waters by which so many are overwhelmed. 

And do not rest here ; but when the little mind is opened to 
the fact that mamma has children, while Aunt Mary, who is un* 


married, has none, go on with your teachings. Tell him that the 
little ovum or egg from which he grew could not have become 
a dn*ld without a certain material which his father gave, and 
that he could not have been developed without a father as well 
as a mother. And if he wonders how this material got to the 
egg — as children will, of course — tell him that it was by means 
of the sexual organs, and that God gave these organs for the 
purpose of keeping the race alive. He designed them so that, 
when children are grown up to be men and women, capable of 
taking care of themselves and others, they may themselves be 
the means of giving life to children who shall live, forever. 

Do not teach this as a desire or passion, but simply as a 
process, even as you would teach him the process of fecunda- 
tion in the vegetable world. 

Teach your children to ask you any questions that may occur 
to them ; and if they ask what you feel they can not compre- 
hend, tell them so, but tell them you will explain to them as 
soon as they can understand. Never forget this promise, but 
as soon as you see that the mind is sufficiently open to admit 
the coveted knowledge, impart it simply and truthfully, and there 
will be no mystery, no low thoughts in your child's mind, or 
vulgar conversation on his lips, concerning his own organiza- 
tion or development, any more than concerning the organization 
and development of the brain, were that explained to him. 

Any judicious mother can manage to make her child compre- 
hend that while it is proper to talk to her of these things, yet it 
is rfbt proper at all times and places, and also that it is not 
proper to be talking to others about them. For example, a 
mother, who has always taught her children the truth in these 
matters, said to her child : " Now, Willie, you know that, when 
you was sick, I gave you an injection, and you didn't want any 
body to know it. It was right for you to have it, and right for 
me to give it to you, and proper for us to talk about it to each 
other, but it would not have been proper to talk about it to 
other people. It is just so with these things. You and I can 
talk about them when we are alone, but it would not be at all 
proper to be talking about them to others." 

A little judicious, truthful teaching will open the way for 


more, and thus an incentive will be given to the mother to so 
inform herself that she may be the teacher of her children in 
these sacred things. 

The world has somehow grown into the idea that the genera- 
tive apparatus and its function must be ignored amongst well- 
bred people, and that nothing must be said to children con- 
cerning sexual things, for "they will learn such things soon 
enough !" This is true ; they will learn such things soon 
enough, but how will they learn them ? and will they learn the 
truth about them ? Who does not know that there is a large 
class of people, old and young and middle-aged, from whose 
foul mouths vulgar expressions and obscene stories flow freely 
as water from a fountain ? And in this age of sickly mothers, 
whose children are intrusted largely to servants, who can tell 
how much the child has already learned, even though he may 
be but a babe in arms ? Who can vouch for the purity of ser- 
vants and their companions ? 

And even though some children may escape and grow up to 
manhood and womanhood, and marry, as some do, not knowing 
even their own formation, not knowing a single law of their 
being, and with no thought that there is a sexual law, can any 
good flow from this ignorance ? Does not much evil flow there- 
from ? Many a woman who suffers from disease caused by 
marital excesses would tell you that, if she had only known the 
laws of her being when she was married, if she had known 
what was right and what was wrong in sexual matters, she 
might have been saved from all this trouble ; for she could 
have avoided exciting the passion in her husband, which, when 
once aroused, could not be controlled ; and constant indulgence 
produced such a clamor for more that the result is suffering 
and misery. 

Many women die, many are divorced, and many live in mis- 
ery because they were not taught when young the nature of the 
sexual function. Many, too, fall into habits of self-abuse, and 
many become outcasts, the very dregs of society, from the 
same cause. From ignorance of sexual things men are suffer- 
ing in every stage of disease, both physical and mental. The 
remedy for all this is to be found in so instructing the little boy 


and the little girl that the knowledge of these things shall grow 
with their growth and strengthen with their strength, so that 
there shall be no loop-hole where low curiosity may creep in, 
no corner where evil companions may catch them at unawares. 

By this means the boy will grow up with a high respect for 
women as the mothers of the race, instead of his thoughts 
dwelling constantly upon them as the means by which his sex- 
ual passions may be gratified. His passions will be his ser- 
vants instead of his master ; and when he marries, it will be for 
the sake of a companion and a mother to his children, instead 
of a legal " mistress," as is now too often the case. 

If all children could be taught the truth in these matters, 
girls would not go to the marriage altar, as so many now do, 
with tremor and trepidation, fearing the terrible fate of which 
they have no right conception. They would not shrink from 
becoming mothers, and be led to the commission of crime to 
prevent it ; for the demands of the husband who had been 
taught from childhood to respect his sexual nature, would not 
be such as to induce disease and rob his wife and daughters of 
the stamina which fits them for bearing children. 

Judging from what we know of the condition of mankind sex- 
ually, we believe that it is only by a correct knowledge of these 
subjects that the status of the American race will be elevated, 
their decline prevented, and they be enabled to present that 
high physical and mental condition which they were by the 
Creator designed to attain. 



021 062 512* 4 


#i$. • • ■ -./.■• I I I >.\^v^. ■ ^M>M 

fin !Wf.'JtA >?.y.Wfttt<Y>i^W Wixijy WHWiBimCn i 

WMMM mmsmk 




BfloBa »&* rage My w&W&iSra